2009-01-28 12:45:00

Authorities ready to consider Dalai Lama's possible pastoral visit to Russia - Lavrov

Moscow, January 28, Interfax - The authorities in Moscow are ready to consider the possibility of the Dalai Lama paying a pastoral visit to Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a question and answer session in the Federation Council on Wednesday.

"We are not standing in the way of Russian Buddhists' communication with the Dalai Lama. We are ready to consider the possibility of his pastoral visit to Russia in the future," Lavrov said.

"There are no insurmountable obstacles" hampering this pastoral visit, the foreign minister said.

Russia takes account of the Chinese authorities' attitude toward the Dalai Lama in its foreign policy, he said. "We are interested in the establishment of this dialogue," he added.

Lavrov also denied remarks of a Federation Council member, who said that the Foreign Ministry advises Russian Buddhist pilgrims against meeting with the Dalai Lama.

"There can be no such prohibitions and recommendations," he said.