ROCOR produced Saint John of Shanghai, it's founder included one lauded by Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia as a luminary of Orthodoxy and it has been courted by leading elements within the MP for decades.
But now that there's no USSR and the Russian Church didn't in fact die out as was even likely 80 years ago, those overtures can be trusted.
... because ROCOR has at times represented a challenge to latinophile and ecumenical tendencies within the Orthodox family which appear to be at variance with that that has been believed always and everywhere within Orthodoxy.
I dunno. To a Westerner looking in, the 19th-century Russian Orthodoxy lovingly preserved by ROCOR seems to have incorporated a lot of good Western Catholic stuff from art and music to scholastic method, all of which is dissed by hip Orthodox today as 'not Orthodox enough' or 'see how cool and un-Roman we are'. Take that tack too far and you get something that sounds Pelagian about original sin (all that stuff goes over my head) and Lutheran about the Eucharist ('it's both really
bread and wine and
Christ' ... erm, no). The 'liberal' Parisian school of Russian Orthodoxy continued by St Vladimir's Seminary is rather different but has its good points too... but I can imagine it going off the rails that way. (BTW, and graduate anastasios can confirm this, relations between ROCOR's theological college at Jordanville and St Vlad's are actually cordial; imagine that from Christians - I think they even exchange lectures.)
As for the militant anti-ecumenism, it wasn't intrinsic to ROCOR. Their second leader, Metropolitan Anastassy, preached in St Paul's Cathedral in London, continuing the tradition of the sainted Patriarch Tikhon who was very friendly indeed with the Episcopalians during his time in America, happily visiting a cathedral and sitting in its choir in his mantia
(of course not doing anything liturgical/sacramental). 19th-century Russians could be like that: not particularly nasty to other Christians but proud of who they were, and they had lots to be proud of. ROCOR sent observers to Vatican II, believe it or not. (My theory is they looked up to the late Pope Pius XII as an anti-Communist leader
- and Christian - and were hoping the Vatican would continue on that course and help overthrow that rÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©gime.)
I don't think that got going in ROCOR until 1) mainline Protestants and their World Council of Churches got all liberal and weird and didn't sound Christian theologically anymore and 2) they took in fanatical groups like what became HOCNA that ended up just passing through and leaving but left their influence in parts of their host church.
I've been told by somebody who follows these doings that there are essentially two traditions co-existing in ROCOR, the nice 1800s-style Russians and the extremists, and sometimes one side doesn't know what the other is doing.
As for a free and democratic Russia, really? What has changed? A sham democracy, a cowed media and an over powerful FSB replacing the previous Cheka/NKVD/KGB. And throughout the sixties and seventies and beyond the MP, at the behest of the party, acting as a stooge in various 'Peace' forums, along with other apologists for a regime and ideology hostile to belief and religion, save were it might serve propaganda purposes.
It may not be utopia - far from it - or a place Americans or Britons necessarily would like to live (I can't say; I've never been) but the point is the government there isn't hostile at all to the church anymore, and hasn't been for some time, so the reason for the split - always practical, never theological - no longer exists. ROCOR doesn't need to go back into Russia and start dioceses and churches - there's already a church there that didn't die off. And so they've stopped doing that.