UK & World News

  • 22 May 2014, 23:53

Russia Brands Prince's Hitler Slur 'Outrageous'

Russia has said comments the Prince of Wales reportedly made comparing Vladimir Putin to Hitler "do not befit" a future king.

Hours after demanding a meeting with the Foreign Office, Russia's foreign ministry said if Charles' reported comments were true, they are "unacceptable, outrageous and low".

Deputy ambassador Alexander Kramarenko has been meeting with British diplomats, who will be keen to defuse any diplomatic row ahead of a planned meeting between the Prince and the Russian President next month.

It is claimed the Prince made his comments in a private conversation with a Jewish museum volunteer whose family fled Nazi Germany during the war during a Royal tour of Canada.

He had been visiting the Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, to pay tribute to Second World War veterans.

Marienne Ferguson, 78, said that after telling Charles the story of how her family fled the Nazis he replied: "Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler."

At a news conference on Thursday a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "If these words were truly spoken, then without doubt, they do not befit the future British monarch.

"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."

Mr Kramarenko was expected to use his meeting with British diplomats to clarify whether the Prince's remarks represent an "official position".

The Prince is due to meet Mr Putin at commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday refused to comment on Charles' remarks, which were reported in the Daily Mail, but said: "Everyone is entitled to their private opinions."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the Prince of Wales "has got a point" about the Russian President's actions in Ukraine and said many may share his view.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Prince should be entitled to express his privately held views, while Nigel Farage rejected the Prince's Hitler comparison.

A spokesman for Clarence House said: "We do not comment on private conversations. But we would like to stress that the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation."

Mrs Ferguson had told the Daily Mail: "The Prince said, 'And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler'.

"I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do. But I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they (members of the Royal Family) aren't meant to say these things."

The Prince has returned to the UK following the Canada tour.

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