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On “Religious Diplomacy” visit in #Greece, #Putin as a faithful asks for privacy moments on Mount Athos

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Russian President asked for privacy during the last hours of his trip to Mount Athos in Greece, and for personal pilgrimage time at the Garden of Virgin Mary, and especially during his visit to the Russian Monastery

 “I am glad to have the opportunity to visit again in Athos, which is rightly called the Garden of the Virgin Mary,” Russian President said  at the Mount Athos’ administrative center of Karyes, and stressed that “every man who walks on this earth of prayer, brings particular feelings.”

“The Holy Mountain is a unique defender of Orthodoxy,” Vladimir Putin said, praising the Mount Athos’ role in the strengthening of Christianity.

We look forward to the establishment of relations with the Holy Mountain” concluded expressing his pleasure for  that ” each year more and more visiting pilgrims from Russia.”

The Russian head of state  head privately to the St. Panteleimon monastery, after the official welcome ceremony  at Karyes, where he was welcomed by the Religious leaders and the Greek President , and lighted a candle and kissed the holy icon at Protaton church .

At St Panteleimon monastery, which is inhabited by Russian monks,  President Putin was met by the 102-year-old abbot Jeremiah and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Abbot Jeremiah is the older among all monks in the Athos society. Those who have met him say that he might become a Saint due to his special spiritual value. Greek media reported that he is the “spiritual father” (pnevmatikos) of President Putin

Putin has arrived at the monastic center of Holy Mount Athos on his second and last day of his visit to Greece on Saturday afternoon. He visited Mount Athos’ administrative center of Karyes, and the Protaton church which is under the ownership of the Holy Kinot, Athos’ high governing council.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos welcomed Vladimir Putin alongside local religious dignitaries, followed by a short service at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Putin  then addressed  members of the Holy Kinot stressing the importance of strengthening relations between Russia and Mount Athos , for the religious strength that this would provide to the Russian people

Russia and Greece celebrate 2016 as a cross-cultural year, marking the millennial anniversary since the first Russian settlement on the Holy Mount Athos.

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Mount Athos is a peninsula in northeastern Greece with 20 monasteries – 17 Greek, one Russian named after St. Panteleimon, one Bulgarian and one Serbian. The 20 monasteries rule Athos through their representatives that make up the Holy Kinot.

Vladimir Putin arrived in Greece for his two-day visit on Friday. During  his meeting with  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras,

the Greek leader  said that strengthening ties between Moscow and Athens is the “strategic choice” of the Greek nation.

The Russian leader, during his speeches in Athens on Friday, but also on Mount Athos on Saturday,

repeatedly  underscored that Russia and Greece have common civilization values and Orthodox culture.

Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill  had already arrived since Friday on Mount Athos to join Vladimir Putin during his visit today.

It is not the first time Putin is visiting Athos. Actually,during his visit to Greece in September 2005, he was the first Russian leader to visit the holy place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens on Friday.

Jointly with Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Vladimir Putin visited the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens and attended the opening of the exhibition of the Ascension icon painted by Andrei Rublev in 1408, which is part of the State Tretyakov Gallery’s collection.

The Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens, where the icon is exhibited, houses one of the most famous collections of Byzantine art. Its exposition counts more than 25,000 icons and divine service items, jewellery pieces, sculptures, mosaics, frescoes, ceramic items and manuscripts covering the period from the 3rd to the 20th century.

 

The first collection of the museum, which was officially opened in 1914, was put together by the councillor to Queen Olga of the Hellenes (before marriage Grand Duchess Olga Romanova), founder of the Christian Archaeological Society George Lambakis.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to attend the opening of this unique exhibition of the Ascension icon, a masterpiece from the collection of Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery. This is a work by a great icon-painter, monk Andrei Rublev.

Andrei Rublev took his inspiration from the cultural and religious heritage of Byzantium, whose spiritual successor Greece is. Having mastered various elements and techniques of Byzantine artists, Rublev was able to add to and enrich them. Mr Prime Minister highlighted the Russian style of this icon.

For a long time, the name of Andrei Rublev was known only to specialists. It was only in the 20th century that his art gained broader recognition. Only five of his works, five icons, have survived. The Ascension is one of them. It exudes a sense of harmony and a balance of form that are inherent to the artist. The icon was painted in the early 15th century during the restoration of the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir.

I would also like to highlight that the exhibition is held as part of the cross-cultural years of Russia and Greece, whose launches the President of Greece and I declared in Moscow in January. I am sure that many more memorable events will be held in the course of this extensive project.

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Religious Diplomacy, notes Le Monde

By using “religious diplomacy” Moscow wants to break Europe’s unity against Russia because Greece has long opposed Western anti-Russian sanctions, an article in the French newspaper Le Figaro said.

“Vladimir Putin is the president of a country where the constitution proclaims the separation of church and state. At the same time, he is a religious person, taking into account his planned visit to Mount Athos, one of the most important orthodox holy places,” the article read.

Vladimir Putin’s cooperation with Tsipras may break the anti-Russian unanimity within the European Union. Greek Prime Mnister Alexis Tsipras, since he assumed his post  has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions against Russia.

The Russian president and Patriarch Kirill have a common mission during their visit to Greece, the article noted.

Ahead of the visit, Vladimir Putin wrote an article that was published  by the Greek newspaper Kathimerini , where the Russian leader underlined that

throughout different epochs religion and patriotism have helped the Russian and Greek peoples preserve their identity .

He added that Russia is indispensable for Europe.

“An alliance between state and church is becoming more and more visible in Russia,” the article read.

Recently, the Russian Orthodox Church proposed to establish a new monetary organization controlled by all countries.

According to Le Figaro, thus the Church criticized global dollar and euro dominance.

Visit our updated on #PutininGreece Gree2m Special HomePage

 

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Kremlin ideologist Dugin denied entry into Greece, Mount Athos

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Aleksandr Dugin, the chief ideologist of the Kremlin-backed  “Eurasian” doctrine has been denied entry into the European Union after arriving at the Greek airport of Thessaloniki.

Dugin is not on the EU sanctions list, but he was put last year on the US black list because of his affiliation with an ultranationalist group that Washington says has “actively recruited individuals with military and combat experience to fight on behalf of Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.”

On May 17, Greek border guards refused to let Dugin enter the country after he arrived in Thessaloniki.

Dugin said he was stopped from entering the EU at the request of Hungarian authorities. He told the conservative, religious-themed TV channel Tsargrad, where he serves as editor in chief, that he had been “deported” from Greece.

Dugin has been courting both left-wing and extreme right-wing political groups in Hungary, Greece, and Romania, where he is popular among ultra-nationalists. He said he had wanted to visit Mount Athos in anticipation of Vladimir Putin’s planned visit together with the Russian patriarch Kirill.

Dugin said his “deportation” was “weird”, given that he had traveled freely in the EU in recent months.

Beginning of May, a group of Russian journalists were denied entry in Estonia, where the authorities annulled their Schengen visas.

Source: NEW EUROPE

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Monster British peadophile living in Crete, jailed in Greek prison

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The British paedophile imprisoned now in Greece, was torturing and raping young victims which he kept in the basement of his his villa in Crete. He was popular among local expat community though…

For the people in the tourist resort of Tavronitis, Douglas Barr was a retired rugby player and former pub owner, who relocated to Crete in 2007, in order to spend the later years of his life under the Greek sun. Burly and outgoing, the 56-year-old was in good terms with the members of the Brit expat community of the small town, always up for fun and games. Now this community is waking up to face the dark truth. Behind the friendly neighbour facade, was hiding a violent monster, a gun-obsessed rapist who locked and tortured children in the basement of his villa, the Mirror describes

It all unravelled when Barr was arrested in January last year following a dispute over a car crash he was involved in with a neighbour. After drunk-driving into the parked car of Florist Danai Dagunakis, 28, the man responded to her complains by threatening her with a gun. One of the witnesses recognised her assailant and decided to step up and confront him.

This led to another confession, made by another victim to one of Barr’s neighbours, who alerted the British consulate. Both testimonies were heard during the trial that ensued, describing how Barr locked the children in his dark basement lair, tortured them, shaved their heads and eybrows and repeatedly abused them.

“The psychological and physical violence against these children paints a picture of a villain which not even Charles Dickens could have imagined”, said the attorney presenting the case in court, who described Barr as “the definition of barbarity”.

 

It is understood the abuse stretched back a number of years. The allegations sparked an international investigation, which involved council officials in Leeds, where Barr and his wife Julie had previously lived, raising no concerns about his behaviour. However, according to the Leeds Council officials, an anonymous letter had been sent in August 2014, accusing Barr of the horrific actions; it was then passed to the Greek authorities for further investigation. The two countries have been co-investigating the case since.

Adding insult to injury, it was revealed In court that Barr – who had never played for the Leeds Rhinos, as he had claimed – was living off welfare, funding his lifestyle courtesy of British taxpayers. It was estimated that he could have been receiving up to £4,500 ($8,740) a  month in benefits.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in jail. He will serve in one of the toughest prisons in Greece, among fellow sex offenders, people traffickers and drug dealers. As a result of the ongoing financial crisis in Greece, prisons face severe cuts and the Grevena jail has become infamous in recent years for chronic overcrowding, food shortages and brutal prisoner beatings.

source: Mirror, Daily Mail, Neos Kosmos