Русский | DECR Communication Service of the Russian Orthodox Church | March 23, 2009
English translation by Nina Tkachuk Dimas

Patriarch Kirill received the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore

On March 23, 2009, at the Patriarch's residence on Chisty Lane, the Leader of the Russian Orthodox Church met with George Yeo, Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On welcoming the guest, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia noted: "I am glad that you started your visit to Russia by travelling to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra - our spiritual center, which for centuries has played a huge role in the spiritual life of our people," adding that the Trinity-Sergius Monastery is the spiritual capital of Russia. This is the first time that a senior representative of the Asian States begins his visit by going to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

His Holiness expressed his conviction that the visit by Mr George Yeo is "very timely and important for the development of Russian-Singaporean bilateral relations". This is confirmed by the fact that today there is a positive dynamic in relations between Russia and Singapore in the economic sphere.

"Given the important role that the Russian Orthodox Church has played in Russia, and the fact that about 80 percent of the population associates itself with the Orthodox Church, this means that the economic, political and cultural ties of our nations are heavily dependent on Russian Orthodox Church, because businessmen and policians visiting your country are Orthodox people," underscored Patriarch Kirill.

"I would like to assure you and through you the Government of Singapore, that the Russian Church will promote the development of Russian-Singaporean relations," said His Holiness.

During the meeting, which was held in a friendly atmosphere, the Leader of the Russian Church thanked the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, and through him, and the government leadership, for their personal support and assistance in obtaining state registration for the Dormition parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Singapore. George Yeo, in turn, promised to continue to assist the growing parish of the Russian Church in the Republic of Singapore.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore, noted that he was very moved by his visit to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, and with great satisfaction said: One can come to know Russia only through its spiritual heritage.

The meeting was attended by Simon Tensing de Cruz, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to Russia; Laurence Anderson Director of European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore; and other members of the delegation of the Republic of Singapore.

Also participating in the meeting were Bishop Sergiy of Ussuriisk; D.I. Petrovsky of the Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate; and Pyotr L. Goncharov, section head of the Department for countries of the Asia-Pacific region within Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.