26 January 2017, 14:59
Duma deputy speaker Tolstoy explains himself to FJCR
Moscow, January 26, Interfax - State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy (United Russia) has spoken to the leader of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) Alexander Boroda to explain his position regarding recent remarks he made during a discussion of a handover of St. Isaac's Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to Tolstoy, he did not have in mind any nationality when he was talking about people vandalizing religious shrines, Tolstoy said.
"Pyotr Tolstoy and Alexander Boroda shook hands in sign of reconciliation," an eyewitness of the event told Interfax.
The reconciliation took place in the State Duma which on Thursday is hosting Christmas parliamentary readings involving Patriarch Kirill.
Later Tolstoy told journalists: "There was no conflict. There were some suspicions and accusations addressed to me, I explained my position, it was met with understanding. I don't see any problem."
"And as far as I know, Alexander Moiseyevich [Boroda] sees no problems either," the parliamentarian said.
On January 23, Tolstoy said at a press conference regarding a discussion around the handover of the St. Isaac's Cathedral that "the people who are grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those, who had demolished our churches, having escaped from the Pale of Settlement armed with a handgun in 1917, are continuing the work of their grandparents and great-grandparents today, while working in various reputable places, such as radio stations and the legislative assembly."
Many saw these remarks as signs of anti-Semitism, chief among the critics of Tolstoy was the FJCR which saw clear signs of anti-Semitism in his remarks.