On 15 March 2011, His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople received a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church at his residence in the Phanar, a district of Istanbul. The delegation takes part in the Change Summit. Head of the delegation, Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, was accompanied by the deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations hegumen Philipp (Riabykh), deputy chairman of the Church-Society Department Rev. Georgy Roschin, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Metropolitan District in Kazakhstan hieromonk Seraphim (Petrovsky), and Metropolitan’s assistant A. Mitroshin. Consul General of the Russian Embassy in Istanbul A. Yerkhov attended the meeting.

The delegation visited the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in the Phanar and venerated the relics of Ss John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian.

His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew shared his reminisces of his visit to Kazakhstan in 2006. He told representatives of the Moscow Patriarchte about annual pilgrimages to Cappadocia and invited Metropolitan Alexander to take part in one of them.

Having thanked the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople for the meeting, Metropolitan Alexander conveyed fraternal greeting to him from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and told him about the life of the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan at present, noting good relations with the authorities and the Islamic Umma in the country. Towards the end of the talk, Metropolitan Alexander presented His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew with an icon of St, Nicholas of Myra and a symbol of Almaty, the southern capital of Kazakhstan.

That same day the delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate visited the residence of Russian Consul General and prayed in the Russian Church of Ss Constantine and Helena located within the territory of the Russian diplomatic representation.