Ukraine officials have criticised Her Majesty The Queen for inviting the Head of the Russian Orthadox Church to Buckingham Palace for a historic meeting.
The 90-year-old monarch received Patriarch Kirill at Buckingham Palace during his four day visit to the UK which marks the 300th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church’s presence in Britain.
The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, Natalia Galibarenko, is not happy with the news saying that this could legitimise Russian aggression against Ukraine, which the Patriarch has supported.
According to The Daily Express, Ms Galibarenko he added: “Patriarch Kirill is a Krenlim mouthpiece.”
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth office has responded to Ms Galibarenko’s remarks saying meeting was held due to the fact The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and that it was “appropriate to recognise shared history and links”.
The 30 minute meeting was behind closed doors in Buckingham Palace without the presence of any media or cameras.
Speaking after the meeting, Patriarch Kirill said: “I am very pleased with the meeting, and I must say that I did not expect the meeting would go the way it did and that it would be held in such an atmosphere and on such an active level on which it really took place.
“This conversation made a very pleasant impression on me intellectually and emotionally. I will preserve in my memory this fair queen who is 90 and has been on the throne for 60 years.
“Monarchy is kind of above momentary political problems, it allows British citizens to rely, through the monarchy, on the full force of their national tradition that the monarchy represents.”
During the meeting, the Patriarch congratulated Her Majesty on her recent 90th birthday and said that she looked in good health.
Before his meeting with The Queen, Patriarch Kirill met the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, to discuss Christianity in Europe.
Last week, the Patriarch conducted a service in London which was attended by Her Majesty’s cousin, Prince Michael of Kent.