President, PM receive Russian patriarchSource: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- Russia and Serbia are connected by history and religion, Russian Patriarch Kirill has said during a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić.
"In the most recent times as well - when you were bombed - we were with the Serbian nation with our hearts, and we are now together going through what the Serb population in Kosovo and Metohija is experiencing - we are helping with what we can and however much we can, and we hope that justice and peace will ultimately arrive in Kosovo and Metohija," the patriarch said.
The Serbian president welcomed the guest, noting that the Serbian Orthodox Church has a pillar of support in the Russian Orthodox Church, as does Serbia in the Russian Federation.
Your decision to donate the work on a mosaic for the Church of Saint Sava indicates how connected we are, Nikolić said, and added:
“Serbia always lived as Russia did. When Russia was suffering, Serbia was also suffering. When Russia was progressing, Serbia was also making progress."
He noted that "the Serbian people should always remember what Russia did for them, including in the First World War."
The Russian news agency TASS reported that on Sunday, Patriarch Kirill will attend a ceremony of unveiling a monument to Russian Tsar Nicholas II in front the presidential palace in Belgrade. Under his rule, Russia joined WWI to defend Serbia, said the agency and quoted Nikolić as saying, "The Russian tsar risked the entire state and his people when he entered that war.
Earlier on Friday, the patriarch of Moscow and all Russia was awarded an honorary doctorate of the University of Belgrade.
Patriarch Kirill also met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, who thanked him and for the donation, "at the behest of President Vladimir Putin," consisting of the completion of interior decoration works in the Church of Saint Sava, the Serbian government's press office said in a statement.
Vučić received Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church late on Friday.
The prime minister's meeting with the two patriarchs was cordial and friendly, and they discussed ways of improving the cooperation between the two churches and strengthening the ties between the two countries, the statement said.