Georgian patriarch praises ‘historic’ visit to Russia


Tbilisi. The Catholicos-Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, praised his five-day visit to Russia as “historic” upon his arrival to Georgia late on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.

“With God’s help, my visit was successful, and I think it was a historic visit and good results will follow,” he told journalists.
The 80-year-old Catholicos-Patriarch, Georgia’s most trusted public figure who is often referred to as the nation’s spiritual leader, came to Moscow last Sunday.

Although the official purpose of the visit was to receive a prestigious award on Monday from a Russian Orthodox Church-affiliated foundation for his contribution to fostering the unity of Orthodox Christian nations, he also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday and “relayed greetings” from the Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.