The President of the Russian Federation is going on a visit to Greece today. The visit includes meetings with the Greece authorities and a trip to Mount Athos.
According to the Presidential Administration of Greece, the visit is very important for both countries as it is supposed to give rise to the optimization and development of Greece-Russia relations in all the spheres of activity.
Several documents are to be signed. Besides, Vladimir Putin and his Greek colleague are to take part in the opening ceremony of an exhibition having the only exhibit that is an icon The Ascension of Christ made by Andrey Rublev. The icon brought to Greece from the Tretyakov Gallery is going to be on display at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens. As it was reported by the clearing house of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, the exhibition is part of the Greece-Russia Cross year program.
Vladimir Putin is going to Mount Athos and his visit there is dated to the 1000th anniversary of Russian monks’ presence on the Holy Mountain.
Patriarch Kirill is to take part in the event, too and it is going to be his second visit to Mount Athos. It is to be recalled, that this year he is going to visit Russian mansions including the Monastery of St. Panteleimon and to perform a religious ceremony there on May 29. Patriarch Kirill is to hold church services at the Ksilurgu Assumption Priory and Old Rusik Priory. Patriarch Kirill is to pay his visit to Protat that is a central executive regulatory body of Mount Athos.
The main purpose of the visit to Greece is not the economy, and not an attempt to establish dialogue with the West, but a visit to the Holy Mountain. The simultaneous visit of the Patriarch and the President will demonstrate that the concept of Byzantine symphony of spiritual and secular authorities again becomes normative in Russia. A visit to Mount Athos is a sign that traditional values are a priority for Russia, and Orthodox spirituality is the basis of Russian imperial identity.