Russian President, Patriarch meet with winners of Orthodox Unity Prize

President Dmitry Medvedev and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the winners of the Prize of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations for 2008 in the Kremlin Patriarch's Palace on Thursday. In the middle of the working day Medvedev came to the Patriarch's Palace to personally meet with the winners - Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic, Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, St.Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and representative of the Bucharest University, Archpriest Stephan Buciu.

The Patriarch and the winners thanked Medvedev for an opportunity to meet with him. Patriarch Kirill announced that the prize will bear the name of the late Russian Patriarch Alexy II from 2009.

"This prize is well known and it has gained a high reputation," Medvedev said, adding that the presentation ceremony was an event of great importance.

The International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations was founded in 1995 with the blessing of Patriarch Alexy II. It instituted a prize, which is awarded each year to statesmen, religious, public and cultural figures, and politicians. The presentation of the prize ranks among the main events opening each year.

Source: Interfax religion