Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit to visit Russia

Patriarch Neofit, head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, is to visit Russia from May 23 to 29, the church’s governing body the Holy Synod announced.

This is Neofit’s second official “peaceful visit” – in the terminology of the church – abroad since he was elected Patriarch in February 2013.

The visit by Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit to Moscow comes amid complications in relations between Russia and Bulgaria over the crisis in Ukraine. A member state of the European Union and of Nato, Bulgaria is grappling with relations with Russia against a background of the Russophile loyalties of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, current holder of the mandate to govern.

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