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Russian patriarch urges unity on Ukraine trip

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Russian patriarch urges unity on Ukraine trip

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Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is on a visit to Ukraine.

It is a politically sensitive trip as the two countries wrestle with a number of political, social and economic disputes. Kirill was welcomed to Sevastopol, the home of the main Russian naval base in the Crimea, and called on the two former Soviet states to come together to resolve their widening differences. The Orthodox Church in Ukraine is split and President Viktor Yushchenko has long called for Ukraine to have its own independent and fully- recognised version of the Church to help the country forge its post-Soviet identity. However Kirill, considered a liberal in the conservative faith, says he has no intention of meeting leaders of Kiev’s unrecognised church.