New cathedral in Kaliningrad to help friendship in Baltic region

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A new cathedral in Kaliningrad in Russia's westernmost region will contribute to friendship in the Baltic Sea area, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.
KALININGRAD, September 10 (RIA Novosti) - A new cathedral in Kaliningrad in Russia's westernmost region will contribute to friendship in the Baltic Sea area, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.

Putin spoke at the ceremony of opening the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Russia's exclave on the Baltic Sea. The cathedral was consecrated by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II.

"This is a significant event for the region and for the whole of Russia because this is another step towards reviving our national spiritual culture from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean," Putin said.

Putin greeted Patriarch Alexy II and thousands of believers who had gathered in the cathedral and around it.

"I am confident that the cathedral will become not only a center of Orthodox Christianity in Kaliningrad and the Kaliningrad Region," Putin said. "I am convinced that this grand building will turn into a spiritual center that will contribute to the development of friendship and mutual understanding in the entire Baltic region of Europe," Putin said.

The Patriarch earlier awarded Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref with the 2nd degree Order of Saint Pious Prince Daniil of Moscow for his contribution to the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Kaliningrad.

The Kaliningrad region is celebrating its 60th anniversary today.

Kaliningrad, previously known as Koenigsberg, was once the capital of the German province of East Prussia. The Potsdam conference of 1945 decided to annex a third of the former East Prussia, including Koenigsberg, to the USSR. In 1946, the region was renamed into Kaliningrad after Soviet party leader Mikhail Kalinin.

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