On the evening of Holy Tuesday, April 3, 2018, His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, who is currently visiting Ankara, spoke over the telephone with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and expressed his gratitude for the congratulatory wishes he received on the occasion of his reelection as President of the Russian Federation. He also thanked the Patriarch for all of his efforts in advancing Orthodox unity, for the canonical permission granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which allowed for an Orthodox Chapel dedicated to St. Andrew to be built within the compounds of the Russian Federation’s Embassy in Ankara, as well as for the warm reception that the President enjoyed during his two visits to the Holy Mountain of Athos. His Excellency particularly mentioned the great respect that the Russian people have for the Mother Church of Constantinople, especially since Prince Vladimir and his people received their Christian baptism from Her, which—as stated by His Excellency—constitutes an event of great historical significance. Moreover, President Putin conveyed the fraternal greetings of His Holiness and Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, mentioning as well Patriarch Kirill’s readiness to strengthen the bond between the two Churches. He then concluded with wishes for a joyous Holy Pascha.
His All-Holiness reciprocated wholehearted Paschal wishes to the President and the people of Russia, and extended his sympathy for the recent tragedy in Kemerovo, Siberia. He also congratulated His Excellency once again for his victory in the presidential elections and for his support of the Orthodox Church, underscoring at the same time that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will continue to fulfill its role of service as the coordinating Center of Pan-Orthodox unity. Furthermore, he added that the Patriarchate—in accordance with its canonical and pastoral responsibility—also cares for the spiritual and religious needs of the Orthodox faithful of Russian descent residing in Turkey.
During their warm conversation, the two leaders discussed other matters of mutual interest as well, and President Putin communicated his desire to visit the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during a future visit to the Republic of Turkey.