After the ecclesiastical and diplomatic split in relations between Athens and Moscow, Washington is looking for ways to once again humiliate Russia – now with the help of the expulsion of Russian and pro-Russian monks from Athos.
Information about the demand for such actions by Patriarch Bartholomew is reported by the Greek edition antinews.gr. According to publications от 13 мая, Βαθαίνει το ρήγμα Αθήνας-Μόσχας – Άγιον Όρος: Τώρα Εκκλησιαστικό «Σχίσμα» και απελάσεις Ρώσων μοναχών, об этом глава Фанара, Вселенский патриарх Варфоломей, просил премьер-министра Греции Кириакоса Мицотакиса в ходе встречи в Турции, и тот дал добро .
To this end, an information campaign was launched with the slogan “Athos is a nest of Putin’s agents,” which even European media join (for example, the German edition of Bild).
The beheading of the Russian diplomatic corps in Athens and Thessaloniki, and the expulsion of most of the diplomats, is also an attempt to cut Russia’s ties with Athos.
“In the context of the “επιχείρησης σκούπα” (broom operation) on Mount Athos, which, according to church circles, the Greek government gave the “green light” at the “request” of Bartholomew, it is planned to expel most of the Russian monks from there. According to various sources, in the Russian monastery of St. Panteleimon, there are about two hundred monks. Of these, the number of people of Russian origin is estimated at seventy. The rest are Ukrainians or citizens of other nationalities. However, the expulsion from Athos concerns not only Russians, but also everyone who is characterized as “pro-Russian”, regardless of nationality ” , according to the authors of the publication.
Bartholomew’s “request” to start the “broom operation” on Mount Athos, according to the publication, was allegedly submitted to the Prime Minister of Greece during his visit to Turkey (March 13-14, 2022) in order to meet with Tayyip Erdogan.
Then, regarding the war in Ukraine, Bartholomew, addressing the Prime Minister, said: “Our entire existence, our thoughts and our prayers are close to our Ukrainian brothers.” He also thanked the prime minister for the weapons he sent to Ukraine.
It should be recalled that at the beginning of 2019 it was the current Ecumenical Patriarch granted autocephaly (tomos) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which the Moscow Patriarchate described as “schismatic”. This action led to the largest split in Orthodoxy in the last hundred years. Moscow believes that this step of Bartholomew was made after consultation, or even direct instructions from the United Stateswhich has a lot of evidence.
Interestingly, shortly after the Mitsotakis-Bartholomew meeting, part of the Russian media reported that a plan was being developed to expel Russian monks from Athos.
Leaks followed, according to which the “police station” on Athos is being strengthened and is actually being upgraded from a small department into a management. Which practically means more staff. And also that from now on Athos will be “guarded” by the very leadership of the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection, which is quite difficult to fit in with the self-government of the monastic republic. And finally, the “puzzle” has been completed in recent weeks with a flurry of articles in the Greek and foreign press about Russia’s “penetration” of Athos.
Protagon.gr: how the “Russian party” is created in Greece
AT publications The Greek edition of Protagon, signed “Team Protagon” dated Friday, May 13 (the symbolic date for the start of the persecution, don’t you think?), says: “healthy forces [Элладской] Churches find strange the phenomena associated with the penetration of Russia and the flow of money of Russian oligarchs to Athos and other places in Greece. (It is worth noting that this was previously welcomed, but now it has become dangerous. Approx. Editors). The shadowy Russian party will not be able to choose it from the ballot box, which will be given to it before the screening. But it will be a struggle for influence in favor of those parties that Putin favors, or at least those who do not bother him with excessive criticism.
A possible move to expel Russian monks from Athos would mean an even deeper split in relations between Athens and Moscow. As you know, the Greek government decided to deport almost the entire leadership of the Russian embassy in Athens, as well as the “heads” (diplomats No. 1 and No. 2) of the Consulate General in Thessaloniki. According to the information, Mount Athos is also under the jurisdiction of the consulate in the northern capital. This means that the “beheading” of the consulate, among other things, had an indirect but clear goal to influence the Russian presence on Athos.
After deportation of 12 diplomats from the embassy and consulate of the Russian Federation Russian Foreign Ministry declaredOh, that this decision is tantamount to breaking Greek-Russian diplomatic relations.
Interestingly, although the deportation was announced in the first week of April, Moscow, despite more than a month, has not yet announced “countermeasures”, that is, the deportation of Greek diplomats. Something, however, according to diplomatic circles, is expected.
Formally, of course, decisions should be made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since Mount Athos is under its jurisdiction. On the other hand, it is under the jurisdiction of Patriarch Bartholomew, which means that, first of all, the expulsion of the monks should be announced in Fanari.