Friday, November 13, 2020

Moscow Condemns One Pan Movement while Promoting Two Others, Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 11 – The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan has sparked a new wave of highly speculative articles in Moscow about Turkey’s role in the Caucasus and Central Asia and the supposed dangers than pan-Turkism presents to Russia, Kharun Sidorov says.

            Such articles, which build on traditional Russian paranoia about Turkey and the actions of the Putin regime against Turkish schools, movements, and organizations like TURKSOY in the past, the Czech Republic-based Russian commentator says; but they also highlight something else, Moscow’s double standards (

            Even as they denounce pan-Turkism is a dangerous idea that must be opposed lest it destabilize not only the Caucasus and Central Asia but parts of the Russian Federation, these same authors routinely offer support for Moscow’s promotion of Pan-Orthodoxy and Pan-Slavism within Russia and beyond its borders.

            The history of post-Soviet pan-Orthodoxy begins in 1993 with the establishment in Greece of the Inter-Parliamentary Association of Orthodoxy. This body rapidly came under Russian control and has been headed by senior Russian Duma deputies since 2004. It is committed to promoting Orthodoxy and uniting Orthodox countries.

            A second organization involved in promoting pan-Orthodox ideas is the International Social Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples. It was set up in Moscow with the backing of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1995 and remains committed to promoting “the brotherhood of peoples who profess Orthodoxy.”

            At the same time, Sidorov says, Moscow has been promoting Pan-Slavism The Russian World Foundation established by Putin in 2007 seeks closer ties among the Slavic countries defined in both linguistic and cultural terms. And it was in turn one of the creators of the Prague-based European Foundation for Slavic Language and Culture in 2015.

            In addition, Moscow backs its own Foundation for Slavic Language and Culture. Each of these Russian “pan” organizations maintains its own website and an active program of contacts, precisely the kind of thing the Kremlin expresses such opposition to when cultural and linguistic unity centered on any other country is involved.  


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