In an interview with public broadcaster ERR, Estonia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Lauri Läänemets, said he had summoned Metropolitan Yevgeny, head of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, to the ministry to discuss the recent statements voiced by the Russian Orthodox Church leader.
“First of all, with regard to these statements coming from Russia, we are talking about really terrible things. This is similar to some terrorist Islamist states in which religious leaders call for violence, war, and murder. This is what we in Estonia condemn and cannot allow,” the minister said.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), Patriarch Cyril, said recently that in the war against Ukraine, Russian soldiers are fulfilling their vocation and duty to their homeland and society, so their actions can be compared to self-sacrifice. According to Cyril, the perished Russian soldiers will be absolved of all their sins. On September 27, in a sermon after the liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Cyril stated the importance of spiritual mobilization, which, according to him, should help “the complete reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine.” At the same time, “reconciliation” in the understanding of the Russian Orthodox Church should not follow the path of “dangerous compromises.”
“As for the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Estonia, we are monitoring them. We invited Metropolitan Yevgeny to the ministry to discuss these topics. And we expect that the metropolitan will clearly state that he distances himself from these statements.” And that the Russian Orthodox Church, which is subordinate to Moscow, will not support such activities here in Estonia,” Lauri Läänemets added.
In an interview in March, Metropolitan Yevgeny did not deny that Russia had invaded the territory of Ukraine, but never condemned its leadership for the war they had unleashed, referring to different interpretations of aggression.