2017-11-15 16:33:00

Patriarch Kirill asks Putin to back Donbass prisoner exchange proposal

Moscow, November 15, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has supported the proposal made by Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk on a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Donbass, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to promote such an exchange.

Medvedchuk, leader of the Ukrainian Choice - People's Right public movement, on Wednesday suggested that Putin influence the leaders of the self-proclaimed DPR and the LPR to achieve prompt prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Donbass. The conversation, which took place during a visit by the president to the New Jerusalem Monastery, was aired on Rossiya-24 television (VGTRK).

The Russian patriarch took part in the meeting.

"I would very much like to support that. We have discussed all these issues a lot. I know that you take people's lives close to heart. His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry [head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate] has repeatedly made requests of me, some of them were granted, and some have not yet been granted," Patriarch Kirill told the president.

"The role of the church in such conflicts has, in the first place, a humanitarian dimension because people suffer, become victims of this hard conflict, which really makes very many people suffer," he said.

"For this reason, I, for my part, would like to ask to also support this idea. Maybe by working together we could all do this wonderful thing," the patriarch said.