Pussy Riot band members
© AFP / Andrej Isakovic
Pussy Riot band members
The European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) decision to reject Moscow's appeal against the сompensation to female punk band Pussy Riot has infringed the rights of millions of believers, Russia's Orthodox Church said.

With no further means to challenge the ruling, Russia's Justice Ministry said on Wednesday that the compensation will be paid in full as the country always thoroughly executes all of the ECHR's decisions.

In July, the Strasbourg court ordered Russia to pay the three members of the scandalous band €37,000 in damages as well as €11,760 more for costs and expenses. The judges said that the right to self-expression of the balaclava-wearing artists were violated after they were handed two-year prison sentences for an unsanctioned political protest at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow in 2012.

By rejecting Russia's appeal, the ECHR avoided a public debate on its decision, which "delivers a blow to legal protection of religious freedom in Europe," hegumen Filipp, Russia's Orthodox Church envoy at the Council of Europe, said.

Not only Russian, but European human rights groups were eager to join the discussion if the case got a review, he added.

The envoy regretted that instead of searching for balance, the ECHR opted to "protect the freedom of a small group of people at the expense of freedom of millions of other citizens."

A fair and balanced decision from the European judges would've been especially important in the current times of "radical and extremist manifestations," Filipp said.

"In recent years, a wave of incursions swept through Christian communities across Europe. There were disgusting actions in the Catholic cathedrals of France and Germany; Christian shrines and images were desecrated in Spain and Lithuania; an attempt to ban wearing a baptism cross was made in the UK and the Strasbourg court also demanded Italy to remove crucifixes from schools," he added.

By its ruling, the European Court of Human Rights virtually supported staging non-religious actions in the places of worship, without consent of the communities that they belong to, the Orthodox Church representative pointed out.