03 March 2020, 15:31
Peskov on mention of God in Constitution: Russia will not stop being secular state
Moscow, March 3, Interfax - Mentioning God in the Russian Constitution will not change the secular nature of the Russian state, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presented new amendments to the State Duma on Monday. One of the amendments reads as follows: "The Russian Federation, united by a centuries-old history, which cherishes the memory of its ancestors who passed on ideals and trust in God to us, as well as succession in the development of the Russian state, recognizes historical state unity."
Journalists asked Peskov whose ancestors Putin meant exactly. "Ours. The ancestors of those who populate the Russian Federation," he said.
As to what these ideals are, Peskov said, "Our common [ideals]. This is implied by the text."
Another journalist wondered which God Putin was implying. "That will be clarified in due time," Peskov said.
Peskov could not answer a question as to whether a federal law will be adopted to that end.
As to whether Russia will stop being a secular state after the amendment is adopted and how the state will treat atheists, Peskov said, "I cannot answer this question right now. Obviously, the state will not lose its secular nature."
Peskov promised to clarify questions related to the amendment "in due time." "I cannot give you the precise time and the precise format of this clarification just yet," he said, noting that an interpretation would be given before nationwide voting. "Before the adoption [of the amendments], before the voting, there will be a massive campaign to explain the amendments and the text. Both the president and members of the working group have said so on multiple occasions," he said.
Peskov directed all the media's questions, including those concerning presidential amendments, to the working group.
"After all, a legal opinion and interpretation would be more appropriate here, and I'm unable to offer it to you on a professional basis," he said.
Peskov ruled out further editing of the presidential amendments. "How can things proposed by the president be edited? Wait, everything will be clarified and explained in due time; the second reading of the bill is pending, and the main work is being done in the State Duma," he said.