Queen’s first cousin reportedly negotiated ties with Putin, monarchy: UK report – fr

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Queen’s first cousin reportedly negotiated ties with Putin, monarchy: UK report – fr


Prince Michael of Kent, Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin, said on Sunday that he “had no special relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin after an undercover journalistic investigation claimed he and a friend close “secretly exchanged ties” with Putin for profit.

The report centers on undercover recordings of a Zoom meeting involving Prince Michael, his friend and business partner Simon Isaacs – whose title is the Marquis of Reading – and two plainclothes journalists posing as leaders of a fake South Korean company that invests in gold.

The investigation by the UK Sunday Times and Channel 4 does not allege that Prince Michael or Isaacs took part in any illegal activity.

According to the Sunday Times, their undercover reporters claimed that the South Korean shell company “was looking to hire a royal to market its investment service” and wrote in a letter that it “planned to set up an office in Moscow and offered to hire the prince. as an advisor to use his “excellent contacts” in Russia. “

“I have traveled a lot through Russia for many different reasons, but mainly on business,” the prince told plainclothes reporters on a Zoom call, excerpts of which were published by The Sunday Times.

Prince Michael’s ties to Russia

Prince Michael is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and has often appeared alongside her on royal engagements. His maternal and paternal grandfathers are first cousins ​​of Tsar Nicholas II and he has been traveling to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, according to his website.

“Prince Michael has long established trade, charitable and cultural relations with Russia and is proud of all the work he has done for UK-Russian trade,” his spokesperson said.

He speaks Russian, is the boss of the Russian-British Chamber of Commerce and in 2009 was awarded the “Order of Friendship of President (Dimitry) Medvedev, one of the highest orders in Russia, for his work on Anglo-Russian relations, ”says its website.

In the same video released by the Sunday Times of the Zoom with undercover reporters, Prince Michael leaves the call, but Isaacs continues the meeting and appears to promise access to President Vladimir Putin and his associates.

Referring to the name of the bogus South Korean company, Isaacs said on the video, “If (Prince Michael) represents the house of Haedong, he could mention that Putin and Putin would find the right person interested in or interested in South Korea.” . Golden. It just opens the door, you know, which is so helpful. “

The prince “has no special relationship” with Putin

The prince’s spokesman said in a statement: “Prince Michael has no special relationship with President Putin. They last met in 2003 and he has had no contact with him or his office since then ”.

“Lord Reading is a good friend, who made suggestions that Prince Michael would not have wanted or could not have realized,” added the spokesperson.

In the Zoom appeal after the prince left the meeting, Isaacs goes on to say that in Russia the prince is “not considered political” and is considered “a friend of Russia”.

He adds that Prince Michael is highly regarded because of his “royal family heritage” and that he “is generally considered to be His Majesty’s unofficial ambassador to Russia”.

Prince Michael’s spokesperson in Sunday’s statement said he had never represented Buckingham Palace, “in Russia or elsewhere.”

The statement also added that “Prince Michael receives no public funding and earns a living from a consultancy company he has run for more than 40 years. Their Royal Highnesses pay market rent and fees for their house at Kensington Palace ”.

In a statement to the Sunday Times, the Marquess of Reading said: “I made a mistake and was too promised and for that I really regret. ”

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