Interfax: Russian church leader calls on people to join forces amid sanctions

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – November 4, 2014) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the West over attempts to play havoc with the minds of the Russian people through the sanctions it had imposed against Russia, Gazprom-owned Russian TV channel NTV reported on 4 November.

“One should make the economic situation worse to play havoc with minds. We are now facing this issue of foreign sanctions. What are they aimed at? First of all, they are aimed at making people stop thinking about national issues and start thinking about themselves instead. The exchange value of the rouble is on the rise. Oh dear, I have some money on my bank account,” he was shown saying.

“Russia has never had a dread of foreign enemies, we always defeated them, even in the cases when we were much weaker. The worst thing for Russia is turmoil in hearts and minds. Just as our ancestors were able to overcome their aberration – and this was done multiple times – as they were able to muster all strength to stand up to any threats, so should our generation not lose ground to its forebearers in terms of spiritual strength,” privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax quoted him as saying.

Patriarch Kirill also called the awakening of national identity “the best cure for turmoil”.

“We should always bear in mind our common welfare not to let turmoil slip into minds. We are now living so well as we have never done since the revolution. And this is why the insignificant decrease in our living standards cannot be a reason behind the collapse of the national identity,” he stressed.