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On 18 September 2017, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, arrived in Istanbul. At the airport, he was met by Mr. Andrey Podelyshev, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul. In the evening of the same day the DECR chairman met with Mr. Alexei Yershov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Turkey.

On September 19, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Great Martyr George in Phanar, he venerated the holy relics of Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, and of the Holy Martyr Euphemia the All-Praised, as well as the other shrines. After that Metropolitan Hilarion met with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. They were joined in the meeting by Metropolitan Emmanuel of France; Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna, chief secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; Archimandrite Vissarion (Komzias); Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; Rev. Anatoly Churyakov, DECR interpreter; and Mr. Alexander Yershov, assistant to the DECR chairman.

Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed to His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew cordial fraternal greetings from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and a gift from him – an album of the Bible miniature illustrations made in the Palekh technique. Discussed during the lengthy meeting were various issues of promoting bilateral relations between the Patriarchates of Moscow and Constantinople, as well as the current problems of inter-Orthodox cooperation.

The same day later the DECR chairman left Istanbul.

DECR Communication Service