Ukraine considers withdrawal from Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, presided by Russian MP – Yelensky

24 June 2019, 13:31 | International relations | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

If representatives of Russia keep dominating over the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, as well as promoting its agenda, Ukraine will probably no longer participate in the meetings.

Member of the Ukrainian delegation in the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, Victor Yelensky, expressed such a view in a comment to Channel 5. In addition, he hopes that the Assembly members will condemn Russia's behavior. "We will hold consultations, if Russians keep dominating over this Assembly and promoting their agenda, and if Orthodox MPs from Orthodox countries do not condemn its behavior, then I do not see any sense participating in this Assembly. We are partners with Georgians. And what is happening in Georgia is also pertinent to us, I felt like we are supported by ordinary people. Of course, we expect that the Georgian Orthodox Church finally recognizes the OCU, it would be very important for inter-Orthodox relations," said Yelensky.

As reported, in the evening of June 20, participants of the opposition rally broke into the territory of the Parliament of Georgia in Tbilisi. Several hundred people entered the courtyard of the Parliament. Overall, at least 5,000 people participated in the protest. The protesters demanded the resignation of the Chairman of the Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, the Minister of Internal Affairs, George Gakharia, and the head of SGB, Vakhtang Gomelauri, because of the visit of the Russian MPs to Tbilisi. Later, the police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. During the clashes, 52 people were injured.

As reported, the reason for the protest was the participation of the Russian delegation in the meeting of the Inter- parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy. The President of this Association – a State Duma MP, and a member of the Communist party of the Russian Federation, Sergey Gavrilov – opened the meeting in the chair of the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament. The day before, he expressed support for Russia's occupation of the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia. And during the meeting, he addressed the audience in Russian. His speech was interrupted by MPs of the opposition parties European Georgia and United National Movement. Ambassador of Ukraine Ihor Dolhov arranged a demarche and left the hall. After the failure of the meeting, the Russian delegation, accompanied by enhanced security, immediately departed from Georgia.

Background information. The Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy was established in 1993 on the initiative of the Greek Parliament. The leading role in it belongs to Russia. The Assembly is attended by parliamentary delegations from 25 countries, including Ukraine.

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