Sunday 25 February 2018

Hitler slur unworthy of a future king, says Moscow

War of words: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Prince Charles (inset)
War of words: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Prince Charles (inset)

Matthew Holehouse in London

Russia responded with fury to the Prince of Wales' claim that President Putin is "like Hitler", saying his remarks are "outrageous" and unworthy of a future monarch.

In a scathing response, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the remarks, if accurate, are "unacceptable" and part of a "propaganda campaign" against Moscow.

The Russian deputy ambassador in London will today meet senior Foreign Office officials after the embassy demanded an explanation as to whether the remarks amounted to an "official position".

On a visit to Canada, the prince told a woman who lost relatives in the Holocaust: "And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler."

The remark was an apparent reference to Russia's annexation of Crimea and a campaign to destabilise eastern Ukraine.

"If these words were truly spoken, then without doubt they do not reflect well on the future British monarch," the spokesman said.

"We view the use of the western press by members of the British royal family to spread the propaganda campaign against Russia on a pressing issue – that is, the situation in Ukraine – as unacceptable, outrageous and low."

The prince's comments are regarded as offensive in Moscow as 20 million Russians were killed during the war, including members of Vladimir Putin's family.

A senior Russian diplomat last night said: "We are seeking clarification. It's not clear if it is an official position. The response from Clarence House is it was a private talk. We hope there is nothing behind it. But it is unclear to us: what does it mean? He is the future king. Was it a stunt?" They added: "It is very serious. Every family in our country lost someone in that war."

Prince Charles and President Putin are due to meet at the anniversary of the D-Day landings in June. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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