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Dalai Lama says he wants to visit Russia

December 4, 2010

Dharamsala, November 30, Interfax - The 14th Dalai Lama has expressed his desire to visit Russia.

Addressing Russian journalists in Dharamsala, the Buddhist leader said that there were many Buddhists living in Russia and that the Supreme Lama of Kalmykia had repeatedly said that he would like to see him in Russia, and that if the Russian government says "yes," then he was ready to come.

He stressed that he had repeatedly traveled to the Soviet Union and Russia before but in recent years even a short-term transit visit posed a problem.

The 14th Dalai Lama said that he would like to visit Russia to see his old friends and meet new ones, and to share his thoughts with them, but that he was unable to do that until he receives the "green light" from Moscow.

His predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama, maintained certain ties with the Russian imperial family and was once presented with a pocket watch bearing a portrait of the Russian emperor, which he kept in his chambers, the Dalai Lama said.

Russia is a very important country, a bridge between Europe and Asia and its rich natural resources may have an important part to play in the future, he said.

A group of Russian Buddhists will attend the Dalai Lama's teachings in Dharamsala November 30-December 2.
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