15 March 2007

Putin visits saint's grave

Vladimir Putin has visited a church containing the remains of St. Nicholas of Bari in Italy (Газета.ru).

Earlier, he met both Pope Benedict XVI and Prime Minister Romano Prodi. What's he driving at? One, his visiting the Pope while Patriarch Alexiy of Moscow refuses to meet Benedict makes Putin look like an enlightened man internationally. Secondly, it turns out that the church in Bari that holds the body of St. Nicholas used to belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, so the visit might make some of his domestic constituency happy.

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