PUTIN NOT ALLOWED TO CLIMB HOLY MOUNT ATHOS OF GREECE
- The Kremlin's strongly dissatisfied with the Greek Government, after its refusal of the request of Vladimir Putin to visit Mount Athos andVatopedi Monastery during Holy Week. In particular, Russian leader expressed his personal desire to make a quick day-trip to Mount Athos in Holy Week, and to see Abbot Ephrem of Vatopedi Monastery as part of his visit. In rejecting the application, however, the Greek government gave the Kremlin the excuse that the government of the country would be on holiday at that time. The Kremlin expressed its deep displeasure at the postponement of Putin's planned trip due to this refusal by the Greek government.
Statement of Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Grigoris Delavekurasa:
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is always welcome in our country. Moreover, beyond the historical friendly links between our two countries, it'd be a distinct honour for Greece to be the first country to host Mr Putin after his recent election as President of the Russian Federation. We'll be glad to welcome him, and we hope that he'll visit our country as soon as possible, as early as Easter; he can officially go to Mount Athos or to anywhere else that he desires.
The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement stating that the Minister first learned of the planned trip to Mount Athos of PM Vladimir Putin from media reports. According to Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekurasa, they didn't receive a request for a visit to Mount Athos from the Government of the Russian Federation, so, therefore, there's no problem with any such request. The official also said that the Greek side would always be pleased to host the Russian Prime Minister and President-elect, according to the "Amen" news agency.
- 1841 Creation of the anti-gentry "Miakam" Association in Constantinople.
- 1869 Birth of Levon Shant (writer, public figure). He died in 1951.
- 1964 The Kiev-Tbilisi-Baku-Yerevan friendship celebrated in Yerevan.