Mr Medvedev presented the Patriarch with a book, The Iconostasis of Novodevichy Convent’s Cathedral of Our Lady of Smolensk.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Holiness, I offer you my sincere congratulations on your name day. I am very happy to see you in good health and spirits, all the more so as you have taken part in several big events today. Of course, I wish you good health, and physical and spiritual strength, given the hard work that you must do as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is a heavy load but it is very important for our country. You travel a lot around the country and abroad, and so it is very fitting to wish you good health on this day. Once again, I congratulate you.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia: Thank you very much, Mr President and Ms Medvedeva, for finding the time to congratulate me today. All of the efforts underway in our country today aim at consolidating our people and society, overcoming economic difficulties, achieving political stability, and doing everything we can to rebuild our spiritual life. Our nation will be strong when all of these elements are in balance and working for the people’s benefit.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your personal contribution and the contribution your entire team is making to all of the positive endeavours underway in our country now. No doubt there will be things that worry or do not fully satisfy us, after all, human life is such that one person might be happy while another is not so happy, but let us hope that with God’s help and through our own labour we will overcome these difficulties for the glory of our country and the good of our people.
Dmitry Medvedev: We will work on this, Your Holiness.