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    Russia-Moldova spiritual ties to strengthen - Russian church

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    CHISINAU, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Orthodox Church spokesman said Saturday spiritual ties between Russia and Moldova would be strengthening.

    "We were very pleased with the warm welcome we received in Moldova. This gives us a cause to think spiritual ties between the peoples of Russia and Moldova would be strengthening," Metropolitan Kirill, who accompanies Patriarch Alexy II in his visit to Moldova, said.

    Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin decorated Alexy II with the republic's highest award - the Order of the Republic - and said the visit would "help us restore the spiritual unity of our nation."

    There are 1,200 Russian Orthodox Church parishes and several dozen parishes of the Bessarabian Metropolitanate, which are subordinate to the Romanian Orthodox Church.

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