Tuesday, March 28, 2023

    Washington comments on Ukrainian sanctions against UOC-MP priests

    The United States is monitoring the situation around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate) and expects that Kyiv, by imposing sanctions on priests involved in Russian aggression, will comply with international legislation.

    This was stated by John Kirby, the White House coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, Voice of America reports.

    He recalled that President Zelensky emphasized the principles of religious freedom, and the U.S. expects that Ukraine’s actions will comply with international legislation that protects freedom of religion or belief, said the official.

    He added that the situation with the criminal meddling on the part of Russia within Ukraine is directly related to the missile attacks on the civilian population.

    The United States remains unwavering in its support for Ukraine at a time when it needs its protection from Russia, from Russian aggression inside the country, John Kirby stressed.

    Memo. The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine introduced sanctions against a number of priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). Among them are the vicar of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Petro Lebid, a number of bishops and metropolitans of the UOC (MP), as well as former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Vadym Novinsky.

    On December 2, President Zelensky issued a Decree, which put into effect the NSDC’s decision on the activities of pro-Russian religious organizations in Ukraine and restrictive measures against them. According to the decree, the parliament is supposed to introduce within two months a bill, according to which religious organizations affiliated with Russia shall not be allowed to operate in Ukraine.