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Latvia asks Patriarch Kirill to postpone visit

April 03, 2014, 18:59 UTC+3 RIGA
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RIGA, April 03./ITAR-TASS/. Latvia’s President Andris Berzins has asked Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to postpone his visit to the republic, originally scheduled for the middle of May.

“A letter to this effect was signed two weeks ago, on March 17,” the president’s spokeswoman Liga Krapane has said.

“Today the Latvian ambassador to Russia has met Russian Orthodox Church clergy to hand over the letter. The Latvian president is asking Patriarch Kirill to postpone the visit,” she said.

“The invitation itself remains in force. It is necessary to wait for Russia’s answer,” Krapane told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

She acknowledged that the request stemmed from the current international situation.

“It would look strange if we claimed our move was not linked with the events in Ukraine and Russia-Ukraine relations,” she said.

Patriarch Kirill accepted the invitation to visit Latvia as part of his first official visit to the Baltic republic in December 2010. The visit was scheduled to be held on May 17-18, 2014.

In June 2013 Patriarch Kirill made a trip to Estonia. He met Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, parliament speaker Ene Ergma and Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar.

The patriarch consecrated a new Orthodox church in the name of Icon of the Mother of God “Quick to Hearken”. Ten years ago Patriarch Alexy II, born in Tallinn, laid the foundation stone of the church.

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