2019-01-06 20:55:00

Creation of independent church in Ukraine geopolitical disaster for Russia - Poroshenko

Kiev, January 6, Interfax - Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has dismissed Moscow's statements on financial benefits, which the ecumenical patriarch has gained by granting the tomos on autocephaly to the new church of Ukraine, according to the official presidential website.

He said in an interview with the Greek newspaper Ta Nea that this Russian statement is quite illustrative, because it shows how Moscow perceives the world. "They believe that nothing is possible without a financial reward," the Ukrainian head of state said.

The Kremlin does not conceal that it views the Russian Orthodox Church as one of the key instruments of keeping Ukraine within the realm of its influence, Poroshenko said. "The creation of the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine deprives them of these opportunities or drastically limits them," the president said.

"When the Russian president [Vladimir Putin] says that the breakup of the USSR has been a major geopolitical disaster of the twentieth century for Russia, the independent Ukrainian church would be the second one," Poroshenko added.

On October 11, 2018, the Constantinople Patriarchate's Synod in Istanbul invalidated its decree of 1686 on the transfer of the Kiev Metropolinate to Moscow, declared the creation of a metochion in Kiev, and rehabilitated the leaders of the self-proclaimed Orthodox churches in Ukraine. In response, the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate declared the full severance of relations with Constantinople.

On January 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed a tomos granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine at the St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul.