The message reads, in part:
“I congratulate you sincerely on the official opening of the Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Centre in the French capital.
The creation of this unique centre is visible evidence of the strength of Russian-French cultural and humanitarian ties and our peoples’ mutual desire for constructive dialogue and cooperation.
This project’s approval and implementation stages were far from straightforward, but the French government’s constant support made it possible to overcome successfully all the obstacles on the way and to complete the work by the planned deadline. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those who helped in word and deed to see this undertaking through to its conclusion.
The Centre opens its doors to all with an interest in Russia and its scientific and cultural achievements or who wish to study the Russian language. As for the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, it will most certainly play an important role in the spiritual life of our compatriots living in France”.
Mr Putin also said he is certain the Centre will take a worthy place among the cultural sights of Paris and its activity will help to preserve and strengthen the fine traditions of friendship and mutual respect that have long since bound the Russian and French peoples.