Swiss authorities express gratitude to the Russian Orthodox Church for help in releasing OSCE observers
H.E. Pierre Helg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Switzerland to the Russian Federation, sent a letter to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, expressing his gratitude to the Russian Orthodox Church for her concern over the fate of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observers detained in south east Ukraine in the end of May.
Several days ago two groups of the international observers were released without any precondition. Not long before that, on May 25th, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia made an appeal, calling to help release the OSCE representatives.
“On behalf of the Government of Switzerland and on my behalf, I would like to thank you for your concern and support in releasing two groups of the OSCE observers in Ukraine,” the message reads. “I ask you to convey our gratitude, first of all, of course, to Patriarch Kirill of All Russia, to Metropolitan Merkury of Rostov and Novocherkassk, who was a contact person in this important for Switzerland matter, and to all the staff members of the Department for External Church Relations, who took part in it.”
In 2014, the Swiss Confederation presides in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In his address to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Mr. Pierre Helg noted that he appreciates “the noble role the Russian Orthodox Church is playing in the process of establishing the lasting and just peace in Ukraine.”