TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian Patriarch Ilia II will visit Russia in the end of January to receive a special award.

He is to receive the Russian Church’s International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations, which is granted annually as a recognition to someone who has worked to strengthen the unity of Orthodox Christian nations.

Illia II says he will leave January 20 for Moscow, where the award ceremony is to be held the next day at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The ceremony will be attended by ambassadors other countries, as well as Russian government officials. In total, 1 500 guests are expected.

The Patriarch, who today, January 4, turned 80, last time visited Russia in November of 2012 in connection with the birthday of Russian Patriarch Kirill I.