Russia: Patriarch Kirill meets with Greek PM Tsipras

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Moscow Thursday, to discuss a number of issues including Tsipras' new Greek government and the EU sanctions on Russia. Patriarch Kirill praised Tsipras' politics in the meeting, saying "socially oriented policies are absolutely justified when a state puts serving its people and their well-being as its main goal." The leader of the Russian Orthodox church also said that he hoped Tsipras and his government would "do everything in [their] power to safeguard and support spiritual and moral bases of life while developing the idea of social equity (justice) for the sake of the Greek people." The meeting took place on Holy Thursday, an important day in the Orthodox calendar in both Russia and Greece. Patriarch Kirill and Tsipras also discussed the situation Christians are facing in the Middle East as well as religious tourism to Greek holy sites by Russian pilgrims.