Russia Allows Dalai Lama Visit ? Report

MosNews, Nov 5, 2004

Kalmykia, Russia -- Russia?s Foreign Ministry has allowed a visit by the Dalai Lama, Ekho Moskvy radio reported Friday citing the presidential press service of the Russian internal republic of Kalmykia.

The visit by Dalai Lama XIV to the Buddhist republic of Russia is planned for November, the radio station quoted the press service as saying. During his visit, the Dalai Lama will meet with believers and sanctify temples. The terms of his visit are not yet clear.

Also on Friday President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made an address to the people and said that Dalai Lama was expected to arrive in Kalmykia?s capital, Elista, on November 13. The visit of the Buddhist leader will last for 5 days, Ilyumzhinov said.

Russian Foreign Ministry has not yet confirmed this information. Kalmykia, along with two other mainly Buddhist regions of Russia, Buryatia and Tyva, have been asking for the Dalai Lama to be allowed to visit for a long time, but the Russian authorities have refused, reluctant to spoil the relationship with China.