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Kremlin rejects reports of St. Petersburg iconic cathedral transfer approved by president

April 27, 2017, 16:15 UTC+3

The president could not agree on this issue as it is outside the president’s prerogative, the Kremlin spokesman said

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St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Isaac’s Cathedral

© Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. The reports that the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg to the Russian Orthodox Church was allegedly agreed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia with the Russian president have nothing to do with reality, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

"We are not commenting in any way [on this information]," the presidential spokesman said.

"The point is that the president could not agree on this issue as it is outside the president’s prerogative," the Kremlin spokesman said, noting that this issue was within the competence of the St. Petersburg authorities.

"That is why, the president could not agree on some variants related to the transfer of particular facilities to the Russian Orthodox Church in the city of St. Petersburg," the Kremlin spokesman said.

St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko confirmed in January he had issued an instruction on December 30, 2016 on the transfer of the St Isaac’s to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church pursuant to a federal law adopted in 2010 on the transfer of religious property to religious organizations.

The cathedral’s compound is owned by the city’s authorities but it enjoys the protection of federal government agencies, and UNESCO placed it in 1986 on the list of world heritage sites.

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