Carl Bildt Never Spoke Against Orthodoxy

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Bildt’s specific statement was twisted and dates back to 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea thereby deteriorating its relations with the democratic world. Bildt commented on Twitter on 24.3.2014 and shared an article by Michael McFaul, former US Ambassador to Russia and twitted: ”Perhaps McFaul is underestimating the force of Putin’s new anti-Western and anti-decadent line. Building on deeply conservative orthodox ideas”, which was understood by some as criticizing Orthodox Christianity. However, it is not sure that Bildt was doing that, since the phrase is commonly used for cases not related to Orthodoxy in any manner 


post on the social network Facebook claims the following: 

The events in Ukraine made Carl Bildt say that Orthodoxy was the main threat to the West back in 2015 since that was Russia’s meeting point. 

Followed by: 

ORTHODOXY IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM, thus it represents the greatest threat to Western civilization – said the Nazi-Fascist Carl Bildt on 17 April 2017 and survived criticism! 

Former Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, is not a Nazi-Fascist but comes from a moderate party, slightly right-of-center, but not extreme right wing. This alleged statement by Bildt is not supported by a source, while the person sharing the quote does not seem certain whether that was stated in 2015 or in 2017. 

This distorted statement of Bildt dates back to 2014. In an era of political correctness, such statements are extremely rare in the EU, especially since the majority population of four of its member states is Orthodox – Greece, Cyrus, Bulgaria, and Romania. Thus, they would have responded if that were true, which is not. The genesis of the event is as follows. 

In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea thereby deteriorating the relations with the democratic world, and Bildt responded to that on Twitter. On 24.3.2014, he shared an article by Michael McFaul, former US Ambassador to Russia, twitting the following: 

Perhaps McFaul is underestimating the force of Putin’s new anti-Western and anti-decadent line. Building on deeply conservative orthodox ideas. 

The original states ”conservative orthodox ideas”, which was understood by some as criticizing Orthodoxy (Orthodox Christianity). However, it is not sure that Bildt was doing that, since the phrase is commonly used for cases not related to Orthodoxy in any manner (for example). The term “Orthodox” signifies someone who dogmatically adheres to the rules of a given ideology or religion. 

But even if Bildt was referring to Orthodoxy, the tweet is hardly offensive – it is a fact that Putin is calling upon Orthodoxy, as opposed to (according to him) the decadent West. This attitude has been present in Russia for quite some time, especially amongst religious fanatics or the so-called Slavophiles in the 19th century. For example, Islam in the Middle East is used for political purposes, hence it is not offensive to say so. Bildt’s statement is a correct one, similar to the one given in Athens on 5.4.2014: 

I think it is very clear that Russia has changed in the past two years. They intended to be an Orthodox bastion against the West. They engage in very aggressive propaganda, sort of the muscular East versus the decadent West. 

Most probably Bildt referred to Orthodoxy here, but he never said that it was a threat or worse than Islamic fundamentalism, which would not have gone by without a response in Athens, and the fact is that Russia does see itself as the bastion of Orthodoxy. Some media reported this statement with slightly different words. 

In April – May 2014, however, these statements were gravely distorted and shared on obscure sites throughout Russia, Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Serbia, where everyone added or subtracted things of their own. Such sites were: Aнага (Anaga), Русская народная линия (Russian National Line), Православие.ru (, Saqinform.geVesti.lvREXФокус (Focus), and others, that also included provocative headlines such as: 

Chief of Swedish MFA: ’Orthodoxy is the main threat for Western civilization’. 

On 12.5.2014, the statements were quoted in the speech of the Serbian Metropolitan in Montenegro, Amfilohije. Bildt found out about that and finally denied the allegations. This phenomenon was analyzed by fact-checkers from SerbiaGeorgiaUSA and other places.

But the post fact-checked here assigns the following sin to Bildt as well: 

On 17 April 2017, on the great Christian holiday Easter, the former Prime-minister and Minister of Sweden, Nazi-Fascist Carl Bildt, on meetings with political party leaders in Macedonia 

This leaves the impression that Bildt came on purpose during Easter to spoil the holiday, but in fact, in 2017 Easter was on the 16th of April. Even if we accept that the 17th of April was the second day of Easter, Bildt only arrived then, while the meetings took place on the 18th of April. 

Towards the end, the post claims the following: 

The Nazi-Fascist Carl Bildt came to Macedonia in 2017 to change our name.

Bildt did not come to change the country’s name, which he even publicly pronounced, but to resolve the political crisis therein – if the country wanted to become an EU Member-State – as he stressed. At the time, Bildt was neither Prime-minister nor Foreign Affairs Minister but was co-chairing the think-thank institute European Council for Foreign Relations, meaning he had no authority to change the country’s name. 

The post also says that the President of the Republic of Macedonia at the time, Gjоrge Ivanov, did not receive Bildt in his cabinet, which is one of the rare correct facts in the post. Although most of it, nevertheless, is untrue.