Cover Osteuropa 9-10/2017

In Osteuropa 9-10/2017
Teil des Dossiers Religion im Konflikt

Restricted power resource
The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia’s foreign policy

Regina Elsner

Deutsche Fassung


Since Russia’s political leadership performed a nationalist-patriotic U-turn in 2012, the Russian Orthodox Church appears to have gained influence as a power factor. References to “traditional values” and religious rhetoric are used by the leadership to mobilise the population and legitimise its hold on power. However, with regard to foreign policy, the Church is of limited use as a power resource. The multinational nature of the Church, the plurality in Orthodoxy and its specific international interests are not identical with the goals of Russian foreign policy. This is reflected in the separate course taken by the Russian Orthodox Church in relation to Ukraine since the Russian annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine.

(Osteuropa 9-10/2017, pp. 205–217)