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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

German Chancellor to Celebrate Orthodox Christmas

BERLIN, Germany- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his wife Doris will celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

The weekend visit is billed as private, but spokesman Bela Anda told reporters that political discussions were likely.

The leaders and their wives will share lunch in the Kremlin on Saturday, followed by a performance of the Bolshoi ballet company.

The couples will celebrate Orthodox Christmas at a midnight mass beneath the golden domes of the recently rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior in downtown Moscow.

On Sunday, they will travel to the former summer residence of the czars, Kolomenskoe. They are also to lunch with Patriarch Alexy II in Sergiyev Posad and view the town's centuries-old monastery.

Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7 in Russia, in accordance with the Julian calendar followed by the Russian Orthodox Church.