by Robert C. Blitt | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски
Russia’s constitutional amendments of 2020 augur an ever-enlarging foreign policy role for the Russian Orthodox Church—Moscow Patriarchate (ROC). Constitutional entrenchment of the Kremlin’s selective understanding of state sovereignty and non-interference; a state-sanctioned vision of historical truth; the muscular protection of compatriot rights abroad; and the propagation of traditional values each tap into areas where the church has steadfastly advocated Russian civilization as a global counterweight to the West’s “ultra-liberalism.” Faced with this emerging reality, policymakers should reassess the nature and substance of their interactions with church officials and take measures to scrutinize ROC activities more closely in their respective jurisdictions.
Throughout its post-Soviet history, ROC diplomacy has evidenced an enduring commitment to the Kremlin’s preference for a multipolar international order. Nearly two decades ago, then Metropolitan Kirill asserted that: “Orthodoxy in international politics [can facilitate] the building up of a multipolar world.” Today, the church has built upon this outlook to reject decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and other human rights bodies as alien and harmful to Russian sovereignty.Continue reading