Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that responsibility for the creation of a schismatic and powerless church structure – the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine – lies with the US authorities
“We all know very well how the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was created. This is not just an initiative of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. It is directly dictated by the US. They, by and large, don’t hide it”, – Lavrov said in an interview with Russia-24 on the occasion of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (Alfeyev)’s 55th birthday.
Lavrov recalled that the special envoy for religious freedom appointed under the last US administration was doing things directly opposite to his mandate: undermining religious freedom by imposing organizational parameters, bureaucratically speaking, on various local churches.
“Constantinople’s actions, which are directly manipulated from Washington, have nothing to do with the ideals of Orthodoxy, with those traditions on the basis of which the interaction of local churches has always been organised”, – the minister stressed.
It will be recalled that in 2018, at the initiative of Petro Poroshenko, who was president of Ukraine at the time, an “autocephalous unification council” took place, where the two unrecognised UOC of Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church created one schismatic structure – the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which later received a tomos of “autocephaly” (independence) from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.