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On 20 April 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with Metropolitan John of Rustavi and Marieuli, chairman of the Education Centre of the Georgian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Nicholas of Akhalkalaki and Kumurdo, who came to Moscow to defend his thesis for the degree of Candidate of Theology at the St. Tikhon Orthodox Humanitarian University. They were joined in the meeting, which was held at the DECR premises, by archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman.

Metropolitan Hilarion thanked Georgian archpastors for the efforts undertaken for strengthening relations between the Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches in science and education and wished Metropolitan Nicholas success in defending his thesis.

Discussed were issues pertaining to inter-Orthodox cooperation and prospects of interaction between the Institute of Post-Graduate Studies of the Russian Orthodox Church and theological institutions of the Georgian Orthodox Church.