On November 20 Patriarch Kirill turned 69.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Holiness, allow me to extend my sincere congratulations on your birthday and to thank in your person the entire Russian Orthodox Church for what it is doing for the Russian people, for the entire Orthodox world, and for people of all confessions, because the Russian Orthodox Church and you personally pay great attention to inter-religious accord.
I am aware of your work with the clergy of our other traditional religions to jointly maintain high moral standards in this country and of your care for our multi-ethnic culture and traditions.
Thank you very much for everything you are doing for Russia.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia: Thank you, Mr President, for your kind words. The Church is doing what it should, as it is responsible to the Almighty for the spiritual life of the people.
Meanwhile inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations do have a strong impact on the spiritual and moral aspects of life. Therefore, in our sermons we pay significant attention to ensuring that Orthodox believers – and we address the same words to non-Orthodox ones as well – being aware of their common responsibility for their common Fatherland, need to work jointly to create a healthy spiritual and moral atmosphere in our society and a stronger and more powerful Fatherland.
Thank you very much for your kind words and for your contribution to everything we are speaking of here.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. Congratulations to you.
Patriarch Kirill: Thank you.