Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, February 12, 2012. Photo: InterPressNews
In a message to Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin, Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, congratulated him with election victory and told him that Georgia would never tolerate “tearing away” Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“I think that your huge experience will contribute to strengthening of peace and welfare in your country,” the Georgian Church leader says in the message posted on the Patriarchate’s website.
“Russians and Georgians are brethren in religion, which makes us closer, but neither Georgia nor our Church will ever put up with tearing Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region away from the soil of our homeland.”
“But I think that despite of all the difficulties, Russia and Georgia are fully capable to restore good relationship, which can take place only if a historic justice prevails.”
“I am sure, that sooner or later Georgia’s territorial integrity will be established, but it will be good if it happens in a period of your rule. I wish you health and your country – further prosperity,” the Georgian Church leader says in his message to Putin.