Irinej presented Lukashenko with the medal, the SPC stated.
“We have always felt close to the people of Belarus, just as they felt towards the Serbian people, both in the past and and present. It is a great joy that we have the opportunity to welcome the president of Belarus at this house,” the patriarch stated.
Lukashenko is a proven friend of the Serbian people who showed courage and a strong conscience when he told the wolrd that the 1999 bombing campaign against Serbia was an act against man and democracy, Irinej noted.
“You helped us then, just as you did recently during the suffering caused by floods in Serbia. Belarus rescue teams were among the first to come,” he stressed. Serbia will never be able to forget or thank Belarus enough for its stand on Kosovo, and Belarus understands what Kosovo is to Serbia, an integral part of its people’s history, coulture and territory, the patriarch pointed out.
Lukashenko thanked Irinej for the medal and said it motivated him to work harder to bring the two brotherly Orthodox Christian nations closer together.
The Orthodox Christians will do everything to strengthen their faith, said Lukashenko, assuring the Serbian people that Belarus would never let them down and would always stand with them to the best of its abilities. He presented Irinej with a gift of an icon of the saints Cyril and Methodius.