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Putin Joins Sechin for Russian Monastery Excursion

Rosneft head Igor Sechin (L) and President Vladimir Putin visit the Konevsky Monastery on Konevets Island on Lake Ladoga Alexei Nikolsky / Russian Presidential Press and Information Office / TASS

President Vladimir Putin and Rosneft chief Igor Sechin took a weekend outing to a historic monastery in northwestern Russia that the state-controlled energy giant’s head restored.

The Konevsky men’s monastery, located on an island in Lake Ladoga in Russia’s republic of Karelia, was founded in 1393 by Saint Arseny Konevsky, a monk who wished to convert the region’s pagan population to Orthodox Christianity.  

In footage broadcast by the state-owned Rossiya 24 channel Sunday, Putin and Sechin can be seen touring the monastery’s main cathedral, which recently underwent a Rosneft-financed restoration.

"In general, it's fantastic," Putin can be seen saying of the restoration.

One of the oldest monasteries in Russia, Konevsky Monastery was badly damaged during the Ingrian War of 1610-1617, when the island of Konevets was captured by Sweden.

Konevets Island later came under Finnish rule and after World War II, it was returned to the Soviet Union. The monastery was handed to the Russian Orthodox Church following the Soviet collapse.

Sechin had promised Putin in 2016 to “help with the restoration” of the monastery, the independent Dozhd broadcaster reported.

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