Moscow, January 15, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the relics of the New Valaam Monastery, which were preserved by Finland and are precious to both Russians and Finns, ought to be a unifying force in a spiritual sense.
"Finland is our good neighbor. If not for Finland, the Valaam Monastery may have ceased to exist: we know how the Soviet authorities treated religious valuables. Those were taken to Finland and preserved there," Putin said in 'Valaam', a documentary by journalist Andrey Kondrashov, which is to be broadcast on the Rossiya 1 (VGTRK) television.
Excerpts from the film are available on Vesti.ru.
Putin expressed gratitude to the Finns and Russians residing in Finland who had preserved the Valaam relics. "These relics are precious to both Finns and us. Finns are keeping them safe, ensuring free access for all those wishing to get to the relics. And I think these relics ought to be something that brings us closer, including in the spiritual sphere," Putin said.