Alex and Cyril

Some exchanges between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, and Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus and “Europe’s Last Dictator“.

Cyril to Alex, reported 31 August 2010:

Dear Alexander Grigoryevich,

Many happy returns of the day.

Working in the high and important office of President of the Republic of Belarus for many years, you have gained the love of your people who see in you not only a political leader and head of state but also a man who takes care of ordinary citizens of your country…

Cyril to Alex, reported 23 December 2010:

“I cordially congratulate you on the victory in the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Occupying the supreme state office in the previous years, you have faithfully served your country and people. The results of the election have demonstrated the level of people’s trust in you,” Patriarch Kirill said in a message addressed to the President of Belarus, which is available on the official website of Moscow Patriarchate.

Alex to Cyril, reported 1 February 2011:

President Alexander Lukashenko has sent a message of greetings to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the occasion on the anniversary on his enthronement.

“We have a deep respect for you as an outstanding leader of the Christian world and a good friend of our country,” the message runs.

Alex to Cyril, reported 20 November 2011:

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has sent birthday greetings to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

“Belarus treats you with recognition and cordiality. Let your good advice and wise precept help us live according to evangelic commandments,” the President noted.

Alex to Cyril, reported 1 February 2012:

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko congratulates Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril on his enthronement anniversary.

“Your self-sacrificing devotion illustrates incessant spiritual improvement, – the congratulation says. – You always behave to Belarus with particular care and paternalism. We deeply feel and appreciate your friendly support and pastoral love. I am sure that your selfless activity will further support prosperity of the Orthodox Church, consolidation of unity of the people of the brotherly countries”.

This mutual backslapping follows the pattern set by Alexy II, Kyrill’s late predecessor.