2009-03-23 16:35:00

Vatican hopes to strengthen relations with Russia - nuncio

Moscow, March 23, Interfax - The Holy See representative to Russia Archbishop Antonio Mennini said he believes that the Moscow visit of Secretary for Relations with States Dominique Mamberti will strengthen bilateral relations.

"The visit and the meetings Dominique Mamberti has had in Moscow will certainly strengthen relations between Russia and the Vatican on the interstate and interchurch levels," he told Interfax-Religion on Monday.

Earlier in the day Mamberti met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and acting head of Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations Bishop Mark of Yegoryevsk.

"Both meetings were held in a friendly and positive atmosphere," Mennini said.

Bishop Mark told Interfax-Religion that his meeting with Mamberti was about bilateral cooperation at international organizations. "The meeting was held in an amicable atmosphere," he remarked.

The Moscow visit of Mamberti "was an information one and focused on the meeting with Sergei Lavrov," the Bishop said.