Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes Russian army and Russian church "have nothing to do" in Ukraine.
"You have nothing to do here. Your church, your army, your weaponry have nothing to do here. Go home, to Russia," Poroshenko said, speaking at the International Conference “The Hybrid War Decade: Lessons Learned to Move Forward Successfully” in Kyiv Wednesday.
"The Russian Orthodox Church is an element of the Russian political system. Who said that? It was Putin who said that Russia stands on two pillars – Russian Orthodox Church and nuclear weapons. We have to draw conclusions from this. After all, is it okay when the Russian security council convenes in the Kremlin under Putin's chairmanship with a single issue on the agenda – ways to protect the ROC in Ukraine?” the president said.
Poroshenko reminded that during his visit to Istanbul, he signed a historic agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the document supporting the creation of the autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine. The president expressed hope that the holding of the Unification Council would not be delayed and after the election of the primate, the Ukrainian church would receive the tomos confirming its spiritual independence.
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"The appearance of an independent Orthodox church, recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch, in Ukraine is compared with the proclamation of state independence 27 years ago. And it's true. For us, this is a matter of the same weight as the visa-free travel, the Association Agreement with the European Union, or our struggle for membership in NATO and the EU," Petro Poroshenko stressed.