Swedish FM: Quote about Orthodoxy "complete fake"

Carl Bildt has rejected as false claims that he said "the biggest mistake of Putin was his return to Orthodoxy, which is worse than Islamic terrorism."

Source: B92

The Swedish foreign minister on Wednesday posted a message on Twitter, along with a link to a translation of a Beta news agency article that appeared on B92's English website, stating that the quote attributed to him on Monday by SPC Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije was "a complete fake, propaganda from somewhere."

As reported by the Montenegrin media, Amfilohije was addressing a religious ceremony in the town of Nikšić on Monday when he said that "the spirit of neo-fascism rose from the grave" and that "the seeds of hatred sown are trying to divide brothers in Ukraine and Russia," and in this context mentioned the statement allegedly made by Bildt.

Amfilohije said that "Bildt's statement had to be mentioned in front of the face of St. Basil (Vasilije) of Ostrog", adding that the Swedish official said that "the biggest mistake of the modern Russian government and (Vladimir) Putin was the return to Orthodoxy, which is worse than Islamic terrorism that appears in the east."

Amfilohije's claim is likely related to interpretations of a message posted by Bildt on Twitter on March 24, which served as a basis for several articles published first by some Russian sites and agencies, and later on some English language websites, but also in the region.

Thus the Bulgarian agency Focus quoted in early May an article of the Russian agency REX, entitled "Carl Bildt thinks Eastern Orthodoxy is main threat to western civilization," which paraphrased the tweet, which originally read:

"Perhaps McFaul underestimating force of Putin's new anti-Western and anti-decadent line. Building on deeply conservative orthodox ideas."

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