2007-07-06 10:00:00

Alexy II welcomes decision to choose Sochi as Olympic host city

Moscow, July 6, Interfax - Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II has congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sochi's victorious bid to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

"Like all Russian citizens, I rejoiced at the news from Guatemala that the International Olympic Committee had chosen Sochi as the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics," the Patriarch said.

"We won this right in a tough struggle. I am glad to know that despite the tight schedule of your stay in the United States, you personally represented our country at the presentation and managed in your bright and impressive speech to convince members of the International Olympic Committee to give preference to our country," the message says.

"For millions of our compatriots who watched the events in Guatemala with hope and excitement, this happy piece of news became a powerful impulse, raising their awareness of Russia's greatness and strengthening the feelings of patriotism and national dignity," the Patriarch said.