Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a meeting of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary, Alberta, Canada December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Todd Korol

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday offered an "unreserved" apology in parliament after the legislature publicly — if unwittingly — celebrated a Ukrainian World War II veteran who fought alongside the Nazis.

The incident last week during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has shaken Canada, prompted the speaker of parliament to step down and triggered diplomatic turmoil.

"I would like to present unreserved apologies for what took place on Friday and to President Zelensky and the Ukrainian delegation for the position they were put in, for all of us who were present," Trudeau told lawmakers.

"To have unknowingly recognized this individual was a terrible mistake and a violation of the memory of those who suffered grievously at the hands of the Nazi regime."

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