Vladimir Putin has visited Mount Athos, one of Orthodox Christianity’s holiest sites.
The Russian president joined celebrations at the monastery of St Panteleimon to mark 1,000 years of Russian monks at Mount Athos, in northern Greece.
Vladimir Putin was accompanied by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
Greece and Russia are both largely Orthodox Christian countries and have close religious ties.
Vladimir Putin traveled to the peninsula by boat, as there is no road access, and held talks with Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
As he was welcomed at the enclave’s administrative centre, Karyes, Vladimir Putin said he was convinced that the Russian connection to Greece as well as to the holy Mount Athos “could only get stronger”.
After attending a service in Karyes, Vladimir Putin traveled on to the monastery of St Panteleimon, unaccompanied by the media.
It was Vladimir Putin’s second visit to the monastery; he traveled there in 2005 as the first Russian leader to visit the site.
Despite his background as a KGB officer in Communist times, when the Soviet state frowned on religion, Vladimir Putin has embraced his Orthodox faith and is believed to have a good relationship with Patriarch Kirill.