H.E. Prof. Sir Igor O. Eleferenko has been appointed as the Grand Prior of the Sovereign Order of the Ecumenical Knights of Malta O.S.J. for the Russian Federation.
The Order is part of the international charity union Militae et Hospitis Ordinis Sancti Ioannis Hierusalem Equitum Ecumenicorum Rodae et Maltae (OSJ) and works with chivalry orders that share their mission. The union is represented in 90 countries and has 10,000 members. The headquarters of the union is located in Zaragoza (Spain). The Great Priory of Russia of the Order of St. John the Baptist of Jerusalem is located in Moscow.
Since the legendary times of the Emperor of Russia Paul I, the Russian tradition of the Order of the Johannites, approved by the legislation of the Russian Empire, appeared. Among the Orthodox knights of the hospitaliers included many prominent figures of Russia.