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Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting the monastic community of Mount Athos in Greece, one of Orthodox Christianity's holiest sites.
He is the first Russian leader to visit the male-only community, on a narrow, rocky peninsula east of Thessaloniki, Russian television reported.

The trip is part of Mr Putin's two-day visit to Greece.

Ahead of talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Mr Putin described Greece as a serious partner.

He said the two countries held similar positions on issues such as Cyprus and the Balkans, and that it was important to press ahead with energy projects such as a planned oil pipeline.

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Mr Putin arrived at the monastic harbour of Dafni on board a private yacht amid heavy security.

I especially like the last sentence - pilgrimage on a private yacht, how humble.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:38:17 AM EST

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