2019-12-05 13:54:00

Zelensky urges clerics to back Ukraine's initiatives in run-up to Normandy-format summit

Kiev, December 5, Interfax - Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with representatives of various churches and other religious organizations of Ukraine in the run-up to a Normandy-format summit and called on them to support Ukraine's peace initiatives, the presidential press service said.

"The head of state thanked the hierarchs for their joint address to the inhabitants of the temporarily occupied territories, as well as for the work the Holy Fathers do for Ukrainians. In the context of negotiations in the Normandy format, the President urged [the clerics] to support peaceful initiatives of the Ukrainian side," the presidential office said in a statement posted on its English-language webpage on Wednesday evening.

Metropolitan Onufry, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, supported the above-mentioned peace initiatives, saying that human life cannot be sacrificed for any cause.

"It is the most valuable [thing] in the whole world. We thank you for starting this peacekeeping mission and understand that it is a difficult process. But it had to be started - the process cannot succeed unless someone starts it," Metropolitan Onufry said.

The clerics wished the president strength and patience at the upcoming Normandy-format negotiations.