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Russia’s "forgetfulness" and its possible affects

 

Kirill’s, the patriarch of All Russia and Moscow, statement about the Christians in the Ottoman Empire who were never persecuted and ‘annihilated’ engendered a big wave of complaints and criticism.

Just a few months ago the entire World including Russia’s highest officials took part in numerous ceremonies commemorating the victims of the Armenian genocide in Armenia and other countries.

The World press including the Russian press was overwhelmed with the reports and analysis of the 20th century’s horrific crime. Many World leaders including Pop Francis have condemned Turkey’s denial policy and called on Turkey to face its history and recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Could the patriarch of all Russians have been unaware of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian genocide in the Ottoman Empire in this case? Of course he has.

The second question that naturally arises after Patriarch’s statement concerns the matter whether it was on purpose or not. Of course one can’t exclude anything but taking into consideration Kirill’s role and position and the Orthodox World’s progress it seems highly impossible.

Of course such powerful men have no right to commit such mistakes and as a rule they don’t. Considering the fact that the Patriarch’s interview was more political than ecclesiastical everything becomes clear.

It’s apparent that by the help of the Patriarch the official Moscow has tried to send messages to the sides involved in the development of the Middle East and at that time Moscow forgot about its main ally in the region, forgot Armenia’s interests. Russian Orthodox church’s attempt to rescue the situation was not so convincing.

The patriarch Kirill’s press secretary priest Alexander Volkov noted for the Armenian media commentary that “the church’s position about the Armenian genocide has been clearly expressed by the Patriarch in numerous statements and messages. The quoted passage was the most definite part of the Patriarch’s press secretary’s commentary. The text was entirely written in an evasive and careful way. By the way the ROC’s clarification has not been put up on their website.

Of course all of this gives a reason to think the matter over. Of course the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic church has responded back to the announcement of the Patriarch. I think priest Alexander Volkov’s clarification has been on demand of the Armenian church. But as I said, the issue is more likely to be political and needs to be discussed between foreign Ministries of the two countries. Moreover it should be discussed as soon as possible.The events develop rapidly in the Middle East and in our region. Lost are those
who can’t keep the pace with these processes or can’t comprehend the right meanings of the messages being announced daily. Unfortunately history has given us these kind of lessons and we can’t allow our generations to inherit such lessons.

The other side of the issue merely concerns morality. In Russia even in the Russian Orthodox church it can’t happen that they are unaware of what impact and significance it has had on our people’s fatesand how people perceive The Armenian genocide-related issues.  This is a field full of explosives where every single move can be fatal, therefore it’s vital for everyone to remain alert , not to lose focus thus not effecting the traditionally positive Armenian-Russian relations. This is a matter of mutual interests. In this case we have to sit down and talk with Russians as the only acceptable solution to the dispute is to regard that action as being the unconditional protection of theArmenian interests by official Moscow.

 Hrant MELIK-SHAHNAZARYAN


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