Putin on Mount of Athos (photos)
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday referred to the “mutual rapport” between the Russian and Greek people, during his arrival in the semi-autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos.
“This year we are celebrating a commemorative year in Greece-Russia relations,” he noted, adding: “this mutual rapport unites the two peoples and helps them overcome difficulties.”
The influential Russian president will pay a private visit to the Aghios (St.) Panteleimon monastery on Mount Athos — a promontory in northern Greece’s Halkidiki prefecture — on the occasion of the 1,000-anniversary of the presence of Russian Orthodox monasticism there.
“Mount Athos is a unique center of Orthodoxy… We hope to consolidate relations with Mount Athos. It is satisfying that an increasing number of pilgrims from Russia visit every year,” he said.
Putin was greeted upon his arrival on the semi-autonomous territory by Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
The Russian president will subsequently join Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kyril at the St. Panteleimon monastery for a strictly private visit.
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