Archimandrite Vassian Zmeev, the new representative in Bulgaria of Russian Patriarch Kirill, has arrived in Sofia and held talks with Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit, specialist church news website Dveri said.
Vassian told Neofit of his sincere gratitute to and respect for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the report said.
“Our Orthodox Churches – Bulgarian and Russian – are linked by close brotherly relations and common solidarity in the preservation of traditional Christian values, through which we can together testify to the world about the saving power of our Orthodox faith.”
Vassian expressed his willingness to develop good relations with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
He also met the Russian ambassador in Sofia, Anatoly Makarov.
Vassian was appointed to the post in Bulgaria on March 7, immediately after Russian Patriarch Kirill’s visit to Bulgaria. He previously was Kirill’s representative in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Vassian’s predecessor, Archimandtire Philip Vasiletsev, has been transferred to Beirut.
Russian Patriarch Kirill’s early March 2018 visit to Bulgaria ended in controversy when he tangled with Bulgarian leaders who offended him by according to countries, in addition to Russia, acknowledgement for their role in the 19th Century liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.