Imperial Putin's visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 28th made a pilgrimage visit to Mount Athos. The formal reason for the visit of the head of state is the beginning of activities for the Millennium of Russian monastic presence on Mount Athos. At the same time as Putin, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill visited Athos. The head of the Russian state and the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church have visited this holy-for-ever-Orthodox-Christian place together for the first time. Athos, the source and center of the Hesychast monastic tradition in the Orthodox world, has a special status. It is the center of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy, which is formally subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but is Autonomous.

Tsar’s place

A landmark moment of the Russian President's visit to Athos was the prayer service at the Cathedral of the Administrative capital of Athos, Karyes. Athos monks offered Vladimir Putin to take the pew destined for bishops and heads of Orthodox states. In the past this place was occupied by Byzantine emperors. This proposal has become a source of diplomatic scandal, because the president of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos came to Mount Athos together with the Russian president. However, the place of honor was offered not to him but to the Russian guest. As a result, the debate between Athos monastic community and the Greek authorities emerged. Special Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on religious diplomacy Stafis Liantas was declared persona non grata on Mount Athos.

As a result, the President of Greece did not participate in worship. Instead, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Nikos Kottsias stayed at the right hand of Putin.

Vladimir Putin and Nikos Kotzias

Nikos Kotzias and Alexandr Dugin, Russian geopolitician member of Katehon's advisory board

Putin is the global defender of Orthodoxy

This episode shows that the Athos monks believe Putin is their political leader, although formally Athos is Greece. At the same time, it was not only the decision of Greek monks. On Athos there are also Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian, and Russian monasteries. Among the Athos monks, there are many representatives of other Orthodox nations: Romanians, Macedonians, and Albanians. In fact, the center of world orthodoxy declared the head of the Russian state to be the main defender of the Christian faith.

Mutual support

The Russian president and the Patriarch with their joint visit to Mount Athos have shown that the Byzantine concept of the symphonia of powers was revived in Russia. The Russian leader has taken an important symbolic place as the world Orthodox leader and, in fact, supported Athos, which fights for the preservation of the purity of Orthodoxy and condemns renovationist and Crypto-Catholic trends in the life of the Church; the agents of Western influence try to hold on to the upcoming Pan-Orthodox council in Crete. In turn, Athos prayerfully supports the President in his opposition to the godless West.