The head of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet for talks on Friday with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the Patriarch's press service said.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is currently on a visit to Ukraine. He arrived on Tuesday in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa on the Black Sea.
"The meeting will take place at the president's summer residence in Crimea," the press service said.
Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida said earlier that Kirill and Yanukovych would discuss a broad range of issues.
"The Patriarch and the Ukrainian president have long-standing personal and working relations. I believe they will easily find topics for a mutually beneficial conversation," Legoida said.
The Orthodox Church in Ukraine split in the 1990s, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, into followers of the Moscow Patriarchate and those seeking an independent national church. The Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is recognized worldwide, while the other churches are not.
During his visit to Ukraine last summer, Kirill spoke of healing the rift and restoring the united Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which was less possible under former Western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko than it may be today.
The Russian Church hopes that under Yanukovych, who has a friendlier attitude to Russia and supports the Moscow Patriarchate, the split may be overcome.
ODESSA, July 23 (RIA Novosti)