Prince Charles met a Russian oligarch with links to Vladimir Putin the same year his charity accepted a £300,000 donation from the businessman.
The Prince’s Foundation received the cash from a charity run by Moshe Kantor in 2020, despite the billionaire having been named on a ‘Putin list’ released by the US Treasury in 2018.
Mr Kantor, who lives in a £31million mansion in Hampstead, north London, was sanctioned by the UK in April after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the Moscow-born oligarch had already spent years forging ties with Putin, while funnelling more than £15.5million into British institutions, including a £3million pledge to the Prince’s Foundation.
The revelations have sparked fresh concerns over Charles’s dealings with controversial donors after reports that he ‘brokered’ a donation from the family of Osama Bin Laden – which Clarence House has denied.
Mr Kantor, 68, who is worth an estimated £3.5billion, has met Putin on at least seven occasions. The Russian president was a keynote speaker at the World Holocaust Forum in January 2020, organised by Mr Kantor. Charles also delivered a speech and was pictured deep in conversation with the oligarch.
Moshe Kantor, 68, donated £300,000 to Prince Charles’ charity in 2020 and met the Prince in the same year
Mr Kantor is estimated to be worth £3.5 billion and was sanctioned by the UK in April after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The same year, the Prince’s Foundation accepted a second £300,000 donation from Mr Kantor’s charity.
It followed a payment of the same amount in 2019, which was the first instalment of a £3million pledge to be paid over ten years.
Clarence House said: ‘As with all donations, the decision to accept this money would have rested with the charity’s trustees.’
Last week, it emerged that the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) secured a £1million donation from the family of Osama Bin Laden after Charles held a private meeting with the terrorist’s half-brother, Bakr, at Clarence House in 2013.
Clarence House said the PWCF’s trustees accepted the donation without the prince’s involvement.
It came just weeks after it was revealed that Charles personally received £860,000 in Fortnum and Mason carrier bags as one of three cash payments totalling £2.5million from a former Qatari prime minister to the PWCF.
Separately, the prince faces being interviewed by police after it was alleged his closest aide offered to help a Saudi billionaire get a knighthood and British citizenship in exchange for ‘generous’ donations to his foundation.
Royal sources have insisted Charles had no knowledge of any alleged deal.
But ex-Lib Dem minister Norman Baker, who filed a criminal complaint about the matter last year, said: ‘The Prince’s Foundation has a long history of accepting money from unsavoury characters. It now turns out that you add to the list an oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin.
‘Either the Prince’s Foundation failed to carry out due diligence or it simply doesn’t care.’
The Charity Commission froze the accounts of the Kantor Charitable Foundation after its founder was added to Britain’s sanctions list.
Mr Kantor is the largest shareholder of fertiliser firm Acron, which has ‘vital strategic significance for the Russian government’, according to the Foreign Office.
The Prince’s Foundation said the decision to accept the Kantor donations was ‘based on the information available at the time, rather than information which subsequently comes to light’.
Mr Kantor, who has Russian, British and Israeli citizenship, was named by the US in 2018 as one of 114 Russian politicians and 96 oligarchs on its ‘Putin list’, published after alleged Russian meddling in its 2016 election.
Washington said inclusion on the list was ‘determined by closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth’, but did not indicate the US had evidence of involvement in ‘malign activities’.
A spokesman for Mr Kantor said it was ‘false and groundless’ to say he had ties to Putin and the depiction of him as ‘a Russian oligarch is flawed and offensive’.
He added that Mr Kantor’s meetings with Putin have been in his capacity as president of the European Jewish Congress and World Holocaust Forum.
And it was ‘perfectly normal’ for his charity to donate to UK institutions, given that he and his family have lived in Britain for more than ten years, the spokesman said.