Organization of the Islamic Conference/ Summit in Malaysia as a guest, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II.
"We don't seek any special role in it. We've been invited as a guest. But we're counting on becoming an observer later," he observed.
He said Russia's participation in the summit was "the right thing to do," as it "created a channel between Russian Moslems and the world's largest international Moslem organization." Putin then proceeded to thank the patriarch for the Russian Orthodox Church's support of the efforts to deepen relations with the OIC. "It is a sign that traditional religions carry on with the good tradition of lending support to each other," he said.
Russia's 20 million Moslems "have the right to feel they are part of the Moslem world," the president concluded.