Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Pope Francis on his 85th birthday. Putin noted Francis’ contribution to the development of relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.
“I warmly recall our meetings, constructive and meaningful negotiations that confirmed the closeness of the approaches of Russia and the Holy See to the most important international problems. I am sure that through joint efforts we can do a lot to protect the rights and interests of Christians, as well as to ensure inter-confessional dialogue,” the Kremlin official website cites Vladimir Putin.
In his congratulatory letter, Putin noted that it is difficult to overestimate Pope Francis’ personal contribution to the development of relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches to the strengthening of Russian-Vatican ties.
Russian President also recalled that this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky, whose work “is well known” to the Pope. As a present, the Head of the State has sent the Pope a sculptural portrait of the great Russian writer.
“I sincerely wish you good health, prosperity, and continued success in your noble and responsible mission,” Putin’s message says.