01 November 2016, 18:34
Patriarch Kirill warns against blind mirroring of Western models of development
Moscow, November 1, Interfax - Russia needs to defend its identity and abandon the idea of catch-up development in relations with the West, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"As history has shown, one can hardly call a catch-up development approach one which is in the national interest. In addition to that, a principle of catch-up a priori implies underdevelopment, if we are catching up, then we are always lagging behind. This is why there is something dangerous for the development of Russia in this very approach, which presents the Western model as an ideal one and an example of development," the patriarch said at the opening of the 20th World Russian People's Council dedicated to relations between Russia and the West and defense of traditional values on Tuesday.
He said that blind transference of strange attitude models and political examples to the Russian soil without regard for the national characteristics "almost always led to large-scale crises or even tragedies."
"Both models describing the relations of Russia with the United States and the European countries, both catch-up and confrontational ones, do not correspond with the real spiritual and cultural situation in the world anymore. It is very important for us to understand that and proceed from this state in determining the future of the relations with the West," he said.
He is convinced that it is necessary to speak not of the catch-up vector in the development of Russia, but "admit the fact of parallel paths of development of our societies, and parallel does not mean isolated, mutually exclusive in this case, parallel insists on distinctiveness and a right to co-existence of these two possible paths of development."
"We should affirm an equal dignity of all cultures and civilizations, rejecting any attempts of dictate and one-sided imposition of political norms and cultural standards, seek mutual understanding and equal mutually enriching cooperation," the patriarch said.
"Cooperation and interaction should be the basis of relations between the separate individuals and human communities, but not at the expense of one's own interests and without drawing new dividing lines, without assigning the labels of 'the civilized world,' 'the barbaric world,' 'an axis of evil,' 'an axis of good," he said.
Representatives of the government, leaders of public organizations, law enforcement structures, higher clergy of traditional religions, renowned figures in science, education and culture and the delegates of the Russian communities from foreign countries are participating in the work of the World Russian People's Council.
The World Russian People's Council is an international public organization, which was created in 1993 and has become an all-Russian social thinking platform. The World Russian People's Council obtained a special consultative status at the UN in 2005. Branches of the World Russian People's Council have been opened in a number of regions in Russia.