TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian Patriarch Illia II on Wednesday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and passed on greetings from Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Vladimir Putin hosted Illia II and Kirill I of Russia at suburban residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, according to his press office.

Georgian Patriarch told him Prime Minister does everything to normalize relations with Russia.

“I think all problems between us will be solved and we will become friends like in the past,” he told the Russian President.

Putin thanked Illia II for his efforts to to restore Russia-Georgia relations.

“But I want to express special thanks, as in the difficult conditions today – I mean the difficult relations between Russia and Georgia – you are doing everything possible to maintain the human, spiritual and cultural ties between the two brotherly peoples. No exaggeration to say these words. Thank you very much; very glad to see you in Moscow. Welcome!” He told Illia II.

The president congratulated him on his 80. birthday and 35 years since his inauguration.

Illia II came to Moscow on January 20 to receive the Russian Church’s Award of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations, which is granted annually in recognition to someone who has worked to strengthen the unity of Orthodox Christian nations.