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A decree signed by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev established full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and his nation, after he met with Pope Benedict XVI. The move ended what Agence France-Presse termed “long-standing tensions” in place since the Cold War-era.
This signing upgrades the relationship between the two, allowing the Vatican and Moscow to establish embassies in each other’s nations.
“Moscow’s movements are closely linked to the level of relations between the Vatican and the Orthodox Church,” Vatican correspondent Marco Tosatti told AFP.
Mr. Tosatti continued, “The Russian government cannot offend the patriarch in Moscow, they cannot do anything that could displease him” (ibid.).
It would not be difficult to conceive a union, according to a report from Zenit News Agency, which stated, “So what we have, essentially, is the announcement of a new alliance on the world stage between two powers that have long distrusted each other: Rome and Russia. Incredible as it may seem—given that just 20 years ago Russia was the atheist, Church-persecuting Soviet Union—this is what seems to be occurring right before our eyes.”