The local Russian Orthodox congregation in Västerås has denied that they received money from Moscow. But in connection with the inauguration of the church in early November, it was revealed that the Russian state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom had borne most of the costs, something that the VLT was the first to report on. The Moscow Patriarchate announced the funding on its website.
"They deny until they confess, that's the pattern," says Patrik Oskanen, security policy debater and adviser affiliated with the think tank Stockholm Free World Forum and former SVT employee.
"It's nothing surprising, that's how it works. This is almost like making a long nose, if I may put it that way.
Metropolitan Anton, who is the head of foreign affairs in the Russian pro-Putin church, attended the inauguration of the church in Västerås, and he thanked Rosatom's fund, which has been the main financier of the 35 million construction.
"This is a coordinated activity from the highest level in Moscow," says Patrik Oksanen.
There are risks with churches with such close links to the Russian state, says Patrik Oksanen. It can be about both influencing and information gathering.