Patriarch Kirill sees “good future” for Ukraine

Russia’s Patriarch has called for unity in Ukraine and offered special prayers for the country. The Head of the Russian Orthodox Church is in Kiev on the last stop of his Ukrainian trip.

Patriarch Kirill will stay in the Ukrainian capital until Wednesday. The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church is on a week-long visit to Ukraine, having already visited Crimea and also the cities of Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk.

In Kiev airport, the Russian Patriarch told journalists that his prior meeting with Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich did not have any political character.

“We did not have any formal agenda. It was a personal pastor visit,” he said. “As for political issues, we did not discuss them.”

Patriarch also pointed that Ukrainian people are optimistic and full of energy.

“All this is motivated by strong Orthodox faith,” he said. “I am sure that Ukraine will see a very good future.”

The program of the visit to Kiev includes meeting Ukraine’s Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov and the head of the country’s parliament Vladimir Litvinov.

The religious figurehead will also head the meeting of the Russian Orthodox Church Holy Synod at Kiev’s Pechersk Lavra monastery.