By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin seeks to build a new world order, including with Islamic states giving prison or death sentences for abandoning Islam, Worthy News established.
Putin announced participants and guests of the 2022 Kazan Global Youth Summit in the Russian city of Kazan.
“Islamic states have been our traditional partners in addressing many topical issues on the regional and global agenda, in attempts to build a more just and democratic world order,” he explained in a message.
“It is significant that young people are getting more actively involved in this constructive and comprehensive cooperation,” Putin added in the remarks obtained by Worthy News.
He spoke after Russia’s energy giant Gazprom signed a $40 billion deal with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), enabling the two countries to dominate the world market for natural gas and set the prices.
Putin, a self-declared Russian Orthodox Christian, suggests he now wants to include Iran in a new world order. However, it is among countries where Muslims converting to Christianity face jail or execution by hanging.
In his message to “hundreds of delegates from dozens of countries,” he said he hoped there would be “meaningful discussions and outline promising projects for continuing joint work.”
Though Putin is close to the Russian Orthodox Church, which supports him in his war in Ukraine, he has domestic and economic reasons for also allying with Islam, experts say.
Russia has the largest Muslim population in Europe of, at least 14 million or roughly 10 percent of the total population, according to official estimates.
The position of Islam as a significant Russian religion, alongside Orthodox Christianity, dates back to Empress Catherine the Great, who sponsored Islamic clerics and scholarships, historians say.
President Putin consolidated this trend, subsidizing the creation of mosques and Islamic education, which he called an “integral part of Russia’s cultural code.”
He reportedly encouraged immigration from Muslim-majority former Soviet bloc states and condemned anti-Islam hate speech.