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Britain Dismisses Russia Complaints After Prince Likened Putin to Hitler

Published: May 25, 2014 (Issue # 1812)



  • Following reports that Prince Charles had likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, Russia has demanded an explanation.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The U.K. Foreign Office has brushed off Moscow's complaints about Prince Charles reportedly likening President Vladimir Putin to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and has told a Russian diplomat who came in for explanations that Moscow should take a step back from meddling in Ukraine.

Sian MacLeod, the Foreign Office's additional director for eastern Europe and Central Asia, met Thursday with Russian Deputy Ambassador to the U.K. Alexander Kramarenko at his request, according to statements by the two diplomatic agencies.

"In response to Mr Kramarenko's representations, the director said the Foreign Office could not be expected to comment upon reports of private conversations, and restated the government's hope that ahead of the Ukrainian presidential elections Russia would step back from comment or actions provoking instability in Ukraine," the U.K. Foreign Office said in an online statement.

The Russian Embassy appeared irked by the response, saying in its own statement that MacLeod had "in effect, avoided giving explanations regarding this matter, saying that it is a case of nothing but media reports about a private conversation."

"All of this cannot but cause regret," the embassy said in a statement on its website.

The diplomatic spat has prompted a series of taunts in Russia and overseas.

Ekho Moskvy radio host Tonya Samsonova summarized the British response on her Facebook page, saying MacLeod told the Russian ambassador: "We don't comment on Prince Charles here... but since you dropped by, we wanted to tell you once again: Ahead of the elections in Ukraine — stay away from them."

Across the Atlantic, The New Yorker magazine's Andy Borowitz posted a satirical "apology from Prince Charles," mocking the supposed parallels between Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938 and Russia's annexation of Crimea this spring.

"What I should have said, and what I say to you now, is that this Putin chap can be a bit Hitlery at times," Borowitz said in his fake "Prince Charles" letter of apology. "Let's take, for example, his penchant for taking territory that doesn't belong to him and then adding it to his country and so forth.

Borowitz also took issue with British politicians who called for Prince Charles to abdicate over his remark — made during a conversation with a Polish refugee — that by meddling in Ukraine, "now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler."

"If memory serves, back in the nineteen-thirties another chap went around trying to punish people for speaking their minds," Borowitz wrote. "I'm not going to name names, but if the shoe fits..."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Dec. 18


Improve your English and knowledge of British culture during today’s FORM lesson at the British Book Center. These free English lessons with a native speaker elaborate not only on grammar particulars but cultural topics as well. Today’s event will discuss the BBC Two documentary “Victorian Farm Christmas.”



Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


TheZenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



To have your event included in All About Town, email tot@sptimes.ru



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