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NEW YORK: May 21, 2008 
Metropolitan Hilarion And the Synod of Bishops Thank Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

Your Excellency, Deeply-respected Vladimir Vladimirovich: 

Christ is Risen! 

On these bright festive days, let us thank you on behalf of all the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for your enormous contribution to the strengthening of the Russian State. 

In recent years, the Lord deigned to have you apply great efforts in the area of transforming the Russian Federation. Russia today is economically developed, a free country, remembering her history and preserving the holy traditions of her ancestors. 

We, the Russian people abroad, value your great contribution in solidifying the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church and the rebirth of her holy sites. We are especially thankful to you for your personal efforts towards reestablishing unity between the two parts of one Local Russian Orthodox Church.  

I pray the Lord God that He help you in your task as Prime Minister, that with your help the newly-elected President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Anatolievich Medvedev will continue along the path you embarked upon of the renascence, renewal and strengthening of Russia. 

With love in the Resurrected Christ, 

+ Hilarion,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
and the Members of the Synod of Bishops
May 18, 2008