Pallbearers from the Queen's Company

Britain’s Snub Of Russia For Queen’s Funeral ‘Deeply Immoral,’ Foreign Ministry Says

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized a decision not to invite Russia to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral as “deeply immoral” and “blasphemous” toward the late monarch’s memory.

Buckingham Palace announced on September 15 that certain nations, including Russia, Belarus, Afghanistan, Burma, and Syria, were not invited to the state funeral for Elizabeth, who died on September 8 at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the decision not to invite Russia was “particularly blasphemous” toward Queen Elizabeth’s memory.

“We see this British attempt to use the national tragedy, which has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world, for geopolitical purposes to settle scores with our country…as deeply immoral,” Zakharova said in a statement.

Relations between Britain and Russia have sunk to new lows over Russian’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched in February.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram of condolence to King Charles III after the palace announced the queen’s passing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted on September 14 when asked whether Moscow had received an invitation to attend the funeral.

“The president had no original plans to take part in any memorial or any other ceremonies,” Peskov said.

Separately, a group of British legislators who have been blacklisted by China expressed concerns that China has been invited to the queen’s funeral.

Conservative lawmaker Tim Loughton told the BBC on September 15 the invitation to China should be rescinded, citing the country’s human rights abuses and treatment of Uyghurs in its western region of Xinjiang.

Britain “can’t possibly have official representatives of the Chinese government attending such an important occasion,” Loughton said.

It is not clear whether Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is currently attending a summit in Uzbekistan, will attend the state funeral.

U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Japanese Emperor Naruhito are among the world leaders who have confirmed their attendance at the funeral on September 19.

Organizer Edward Fitzalan-Howard on September 15 revealed some of the plans for the first state funeral in Britain since that of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.

“It is our aim and belief that…the next few days will unite people across the globe and resonate with people of all faiths, while fulfilling Her Majesty and her family’s wishes to pay a fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign,” Fitzalan-Howard said.

More than 2,000 guests are expected to pack historic Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m. local time for a church service dedicated to her life and reign. The queen is to be buried alongside her husband, Prince Philip, in Windsor Castle following the state funeral.

On the first of four days that the queen’s coffin is to lie in state at Britain’s Parliament, thousands of mourners on September 15 waited up to nine hours in line for the chance to file past the coffin and pay respects to the late queen.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, TASS, RFERL and Reuters

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