Russia condemns Prince Charles's 'outrageous' remarks as unworthy of a future King

A Russian diplomat will meet with a Foreign Office official over the Prince's reported remark 'and now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler'

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The Independent Online

Russia has condemned claims Prince Charles compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler over his actions in Ukraine as "unacceptable, outrageous and low" ahead of a meeting with Foreign Office officials this afternoon.

"If these words were truly spoken, then without doubt, they do not reflect well on the future British monarch," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a news conference.

"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," he said.

Prince Charles faced widespread criticism and even calls to abdicate yesterday over the remark “and now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler” which he made when speaking with museum volunteer Marienne Ferguson.

The alleged comments follow Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, a move that was widely condemned by the West, who declared a referendum on absorbing the Black Sea peninsula illegitimate and illegal.

A senior Russian diplomatic source warned earlier Russia is taking the comments "very seriously."

The source told The Telegraph: “We are seeking clarification [from the FCO] at a working level. 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, after all.”

They told the newspaper the comments were particularly sensitive given the scale of Russian casualties in the fight against Hitler's regime in the Second World War.

"It is very serious. Every family in our country lost someone in that war," the source said.

Russia's deputy ambassador is expected to meet a senior Foreign Office official later today to clarify if the comments on the Ukraine crisis allegedly made during a private conversation with a member of the public during a royal tour of Canada amounted to an "official position".

The Prince is due to meet with President Putin next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

Mr Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has refused to comment on the reports.

A spokesperson for Clarence House said it would not comment on private conversations but stressed: “the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation.”

Prime Minister David Cameron declined to comment on the Prince's reported remark except to say that "everyone is entitled to their private opinions".

But Labour leader Ed Miliband said Prince Charles "has got a point" and suggested many Britons shared the Prince's concerns about Mr Putin's actions in Ukraine.