Prince Michael of Kent quits as patron of Kremlin-linked trade body as pressure mounts to sever all his ties to Moscow
- Prince Michael of Kent has left his role as patron at a Russo-British trade body
- The Prince has business ties to Russia and is related to Tsar Nicholas II
- He now faces calls to sever all his ties to Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war
Prince Michael of Kent has stepped down as patron of a Russo-British trade body with close links to the Kremlin as he faces pressure to sever all his ties to Moscow.
The Queen’s cousin, a fluent Russian speaker with a lineage to Tsar Nicholas II, has strong business links with Russia.
But his connections to the Kremlin came under scrutiny after the invasion of Ukraine. This month he handed back an Order of Friendship award, one of Russia’s highest honours. Now the 79-year-old, who gets no public funding, has stepped down as patron of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce.
The Queen’s cousin, a fluent Russian speaker with a lineage to Tsar Nicholas II, has strong business links with Russia
However, he remains an ambassador and shareholder of RemitRadar, a money-transfer firm led by ex-KGB officer Sergey Markov.
Mr Markov is also named as the ‘head of the Charitable Foundation of His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent’ on the charity’s Russian website, which was taken offline after Ukraine was invaded. The Prince holds an honorary professorship from St Petersburg Mining University. The honour was presented in 2017 by billionaire Vladimir Litvinenko, Vladimir Putin’s friend and campaign manager in elections in 2000 and 2004.
He is also a patron of the Moscow Academy of Industry and Finance and has an honorary doctorate and Glory of Russia award from Plekhanov Economics Academy.
Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh said: ‘Prince Michael should consider his position. At a time when we’re expecting everybody to stand up in support of Ukraine and against the war crimes and atrocities committed by Russia, you would expect members of the Royal Family to be taking the same stand.’
Independent peer Lord Mann said: ‘It would be wise for him to detach himself from all Russian interests whilst the conflict continues.’
Last year, the prince was caught in a cash-for-access scandal after telling undercover Channel 4 reporters he could be hired for £10,000 a day to make confidential representations to Putin’s regime.
A source close to the Prince said last night he was concerned about xenophobia towards Russians, citing the difference between Russian citizens and the Kremlin. A spokesman said he never received funds or consultancy fees from RemitRadar.