Photo from UNIAN

Tomos is actually another Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, Ukrainian The empire is losing one of the last levers of influence on its former colony," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement regarding the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

"Today we received the Autocephaly, and after the Council, the Primate of the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church will obtain Tomos," said the president.

"It was His (Lord's) wish to have His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod of the Mother Church of Constantinople declare the long-dreamed and long-awaited 'yes', for which we have long fought. There will be Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine," he said. "The decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy Synod has finally dispelled the imperial illusions and chauvinistic fantasies of Moscow, which were not supported by any legal church document - about Ukraine as so called 'canonical territory of the Russian Church'."

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"By the work of God, own Local Churches have been set up in all the Orthodox states that have won their independence. This happened in Bulgaria, in Greece, in Georgia, in Serbia, in Cyprus, in Romania, in Russia. Now our State of Ukraine is joining their ranks," said Poroshenko.

He added that the "question of Tomos and Autocephaly goes far beyond the church life, as the State has joined it. This is a matter of our independence. This is a matter of our national security. This is a matter of our statehood. This is a matter of the entire global geopolitics. This is the fall of the 'Third Rome' as the most ancient conceptual claim of Moscow for the global domination."

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The president stressed the Ukrainian government guarantees "full respect for religious freedom for the believers of all denominations. There is no state church, we never had it and there will never be one. And nobody will be 'invited by force' to the Orthodox Church consecrated with Tomos."

"Once again I emphasize that this is a matter of free choice for each believer," Poroshenko concluded.