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    Zelensky: Putin raises church, language issues to avoid ending war

    In an interview with Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and the Associated Press), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian leader deliberately delays their summit where ways could be discussed. The delay comes including through the issues of language and the Russian Church. According to the head of state, first the war must be stopped before these other issues could be discussed.

    “When people want to end the war and normalize relations, they say: who cares about that agenda? Let’s meet, let’s go. President Putin has said he was ready for a meeting, and I believe there will be one. Today – I don’t know the reasons why – but they are dragging on their feet too much. But procrastination doesn’t solve the issue. They’re raising issues of the Russian language, the church, etc.… I have a very open position here: if you want respect for the Russian language, respect Ukrainian. We want respect for schools,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the President’s Office.

    “We know who is being killed in the east, we know whose flags are being flown in Crimea. What agenda are they talking about?” Zelensky said.

    “Russia and we are already mature. We understand what we should do, and in what sequence. So when someone talks about church or language, I think this: we’re at war. Let’s figure out, what comes first! There are specifics: we will end the war, we want to fix relations. How much longer will this linger? It’s generations that will (suffer. – Ed.). Whether they want to or not, all the rest will come afterward. That’s what I’m talking about,” Zelensky stressed.

    It should be recalled that on June 15, ROCinU believers and members of the Myriany NGO rallied outside the President’s Office to complain about bills on the standardization of ROCinU’s current title. The event was covered by the pro-Russian outlet, Strana.ua, as well as Russian intelligence assets working in the media domain.

    According to a Ukraine-based religious expert Oleksandr Yefremenko, it was not the Myriany NGO who organized the political rally but by the ministers with ROCinU: bishops and priests. They hid behind the name of a public organization to avoid responsibility.

    “ROCinU is not okay with the bills aimed at forcing them to bring their name in line with the essence of their religious organization instead of hiding behind the name of a ‘Ukrainian Church,’ while being controlled by the Kremlin. Such standardization of the title would show ordinary people that this is not the Ukrainian Church, but a branch of the Russian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. That is why the Myriany of ROCinU push on the Verkhovna Rada,” wrote the founder of the Spiritual Front of Ukraine, Oleksandr Yefremenko.

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