Wednesday, April 17, 2019

‘Orthodox Russia Seeks Its Place in a Future Conservative European Union’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 17 – In an article under that title, Andrey Melnikov, the editor of NG-Religii, reports on a conference this week at the Russian Cultural Center in Budapest devoted to the growth of conservative national consciousness in the members of the European Union and the rest of the world (

            The meeting, which attracted representatives from 24 different countries, is formally the 25th Conference of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples, a group that, in Melnikov’s words, has “positioned itself as an international conservative organization” which criticizes globalization from the perspective of “fundamentalist Christianity.”

            The meeting is taking place in Budapest, the Moscow journalist says, because Hungary today is “much more friendly toward Russia,” where the foundation has its headquarters.  It is important because it is “the first after the rupture of eucharistic communion of the Moscow and Constantinople patriarchates.” 

            Speakers at the meeting have praised FIDESZ and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Urban for their nationalist and pro-Moscow stances. But the Hungarian leaders are not the only ones the meeting has been expressing support for. Valery Alekseyev, the head of the foundation that sponsored the meeting, praised US President Donald Trump.

            Alekseyev said that “the American leader not only has adopted a course based on the insistence of national interests and religious traditionalism as the bases of social life in his country but is also prepared to actively promote the same values in Europe so that the Old World will turn from its left-liberal trend toward the Judeo-Christian basis of Western civilization.”

            The Moscow official singled out for particular praise Steve Bannon, whom he described as “an advisor of the president,” even though Bannon has resigned from his White House job.  Thanks to Trump and Bannon, Alekseyev continued, “the entire Western world will be captured by the conservative project.”  

            If western Europe returns to traditionalism, the Moscow foundation boss said, then Russia which has been at odds with “left-liberal” Europe will be able once again to find a place in the new conservative “European context.”

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