Putin: Church ‘natural partner’ for Kremlin
WASHINGTON - Agence France-PressePresident Vladimir Putin hailed the Russian Orthodox Church as a “natural partner” of the Kremlin in a two-hour film aired on national television, extolling the church’s resurgence after its repression under Soviet rule.
“In the most critical moments of our history, our people looked upon their roots, the moral foundations, the religious values,” Putin said in the nearly two-hour film called “The Second Baptism of Russia.” Putin, who was interviewed for the film along with Patriarch Kirill and various high-ranking members of the Church, said the church naturally filled the “moral vacuum” after the Soviet Union fell apart. “We have a lot of lines of cooperation between the Church and the state,” he said, calling the Church a “natural partner of the state” and a “factor of unity between people” on the territory of former Soviet Union.
Last December Putin said in his state of the union address that Russia was lacking “spiritual bonds” and traditional values.