* * *
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Holiness,
This meting is taking place in one of the Kremlin’s chapels. This is a very special place. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that today I signed the law on restitution of property to religious organisations.
This is an important law, and it was actively discussed and coordinated. As a result, I believe that the optimal version of the law has been adopted, and it will address many pressing problems facing the Russian Orthodox Church and other confessions without destroying the existing system of handling items of cultural value and other related procedures. I wanted to tell you about it in person. I think this is an important event in the life of our country.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia: I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to you, Mr President, to the State Duma, the Federation Council, and many members of our society for the efforts in drafting and adopting this document. I am grateful to you personally for affixing your signature to this document, making it part of our lives.
This law testifies that our country is overcoming the effects of the most difficult years; we are restoring justice. Only a state that bases its activities on the principles of justice can have a future because injustice is always a danger both for society and the state.
You have my heartfelt gratitude. This law is the result of some compromises, and I think that is how it should be. At least all the healthy forces of society will be able to rely on this law when carrying out their activities.
I am particularly grateful to you for returning property to the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious organisations, which will enable them to exercise their ministry for the good of our nation.