President Putin does not like the idea of the state interfering in religious matters. The state should not be dictating religious figures "what they should do, whom they should elect and how they should unite," he said during a meeting with delegates of the 3rd Convention of the World Congress of Tatars in Kazan.
According to his words, the state should help religious figures create work conditions and prevent misunderstanding between them and people.
Reminding the assembly that Church in Russia is separated from the state, the president nevertheless said that it would be a mistake to separate people from Church. "There are no work collectives, no Party cells, nothing of what there was in the times of the Communist Party, no tutors and instructors, and that means that nothing except religion can communicate universal values," he said.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969