Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has informed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate) of his plans to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian church.
Their meeting took place in Istanbul, Turkey.
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"The first news from the talks on the Phanar: Patriarch Kirill did not achieve all goals he had travelled for. First, there was a meeting in front of all the members of the Synod. Then there were tete-a-tete talks, only with translation," the head of the information department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), wrote on Facebook on August 31.
"The meeting ended before 13:00. The guests were expected to stay for dinner, but they immediately left," he wrote.
When a journalist asked: "Your Holiness, how was it going?" Patriarch Kirill "nervously replied: 'Good, good.' But clearly it was without those feelings a negotiator has got after successful negotiations," Zorya continued.
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Later, Metropolitan of France Emmanuel came out to reporters. He represented Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyiv Rus-Ukraine in Kyiv in July 2018.
"He made a short statement, the essence of which was in the phrase: we have informed the Patriarch about the decision to overcome the split in Ukraine and to provide autocephaly, which is being implemented," Zorya wrote and noted that an official wording is expected later, so the statement may not be verbatim.
"In general, the outcome of the negotiations for Ukraine gives grounds for cautious optimism," he said.
Later he added to his post that "one of the witnesses from among Ukrainians heard a phrase that a member of the Moscow Patriarchate delegation left while leaving: "Everything has already been decided there, we could not do anything about it."