Russian Patriarch blesses Yanukovich ahead of inauguration ceremony

Ukraine's next president Viktor Yanukovich has received a blessing from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the Kiev Laura of the Caves ahead of the official inauguration ceremony. "May God bless you in your accession to power," the Patriarch told the president-elect. The Church Primate stressed the importance of establishing friendly relations between "component parts of Kievan Rus." "God grants, your undertakings will be aimed at Ukraine's prosperity," the Patriarch said after reading in Ukrainian several lines from the Prayer for Ukraine and giving Yanukovich an image of the Savior as a present.

No activists of the UNA-UNSO nationalistic organization, who planned to hold a protest rally, were to be seen near the monastery, an Interfax correspondent reported.

No provocations or other protest rallies have been staged. The entrance to the Laura of the Caves is being guarded by over 50 policemen.

Source: Interfax religion