Poltavchenko has not agreed with Putin the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Russian Orthodox Church

Georgy Poltavchenko

Photo: Alexey Danichev / RIA Novosti

The decision of Governor Georgy Poltavchenko about the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church was not agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The only way to smooth out caused by the decision on the transfer of social conflict is, as polls show, pass the Cathedral in sharing the city and the Church, told RBC sources

The Decision Poltavchenko

The Governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko, taking the decision to transfer to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Russian Orthodox Church, did not coordinate its decision with the President and the leadership of the country, told RBC Federal official confirmed a source close to the Kremlin.

Once in the city the protests began, were made of sociological measurement, which, according to the interlocutor of RBC, showed that the “principal stress” of St. Petersburg was the fact that “no one is consulted”. Citizens in opinion polls asked, will worsen or will improve their attitude to the Governor, if the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church will take place. The number of those who spoke about the deteriorating dramatically exceeded the number of approving, adds a source close to the Kremlin. The picture across the country is exactly the opposite: the number of those who support the transfer of the Cathedral, exceeds the number of citizens opposed to this step, emphasizes the interlocutor of RBC.

Against the transfer of the Cathedral are the “more educated and politically and community engaged” residents of St. Petersburg, told RBC Director of the Levada center Lev Gudkov. Poltavchenko the decision to transfer the Cathedral Church “offends them, it is arbitrary, it is annoying and causes extreme displeasure,” said Gudkov. Residents of other regions, by contrast, are more likely to support the decision Poltavchenko, studies of Levada center, said Gudkov.

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How to get out of a situation is unclear, says the Federal official.

The chief of staff to Governor Poltavchenko David Adamia and head of the press service of the administration of St. Petersburg Andrei Kibito refused to comment on the fact that Isaac’s Cathedral was passed without the consent of the Kremlin. “We do not comment on anonymous information,” said RBC Kibito.

As the ROC passed St. Isaac’s Cathedral

In January 2017, the Governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko said that the city authorities are ready to transfer to St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the gratuitous use of the Russian Orthodox Church for 49 years. Then Poltavchenko said that “the question of the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in the use of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved,” but promised that the Cathedral “will keep the Museum and educational function”. Against the decision Poltavchenko were made by the representatives of the opposition cultural figures. In St. Petersburg held several protests, some of which took part deputies of city legislative Assembly. Patriarch Kirill commented on the transfer of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Isaac’s Cathedral on Friday, February 17. He said that the return of the Cathedral is meant to stop the “evil intentions of the people making the house of prayer the cause of discord”.

The solution to the problem

Another source of RBC, close to the Kremlin, said that the situation around the St. Isaac’s Cathedral is discussed in the presidential administration. The Kremlin says the source, was in a difficult position: to refuse of the Russian Orthodox Church in the transmission of the Cathedral would be wrong, but the problem associated with the dissatisfaction of residents and cultural figures, should be solved.

The first solution to the problem — after all to abandon the St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church. But this scenario is “bad, because people advocating the transfer, across the country many times more than those who are against,” explains a Federal official.

The second option is to pass the Cathedral. But this negative scenario, “because of poor for St. Petersburg”.

A third option is to delay the decision of a question. In accordance with the plan of the property Committee of Saint-Petersburg, the transfer process should take 27 months. The longest step is the first: an inventory of what should be transmitted. But this scenario is bad, because procrastination will not remove the problem itself, emphasizes the interlocutor of RBC.

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According to him, opinion polls show that the only win-win scenario is a format of sharing St. Isaac’s Cathedral from the city and the Church. This is the same model as in the case of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, which is shared city and the Russian Orthodox Church, says the Federal official RBC.

In the Museum of St. Isaac’s Cathedral still do not understand how can be translated the idea of sharing the object. “Working together is good, but the owner should still be one, someone has to bear full responsibility for the condition of the building, that did not stop restoration and other works”, — told RBC Director of the Museum Nikolai Burov. The joint use of the Cathedral concerned must face many “underwater rocks of economic” and the solutions will require a long negotiation, said the Director of the Museum.

In the Synodal Department of the ROC on relations of the Church with society and the media refused to comment RBC options for resolving the conflict surrounding the transfer Isaakievskogo Cathedral.

Resignation as a consequence of

The political strategist Andrey Kolyadin suggested that Poltavchenko accepted the decision can be “sincere miscalculation”. Being a very he was Church-going man, Poltavchenko could make the decision on the transfer of the Church of the Cathedral “without a second thought,” said RBC koliadyn. But Poltavchenko did not understand the consequences of this decision, I am sure koliadyn. Although the Governor has sufficient authority to make the decision to transfer the Cathedral Church, the Federal government “could not remain satisfied with its inconsistent with them solution,” Kolyadin said.

If not Poltavchenko approved the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral with the Kremlin, the consequences of this decision can be very severe, the Director of the Center for political technologies Igor Bunin. “Poltavchenko was one of the candidates for retirement (during the last rotation of governors), he explained. — So what if he was accused that he made a mistake, passing St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the removal is imminent”.

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