Zelensky refuses to sign joint ecology-related declaration with Patriarch Bartholomew

9 August 2019, 10:48 | International relations | 2 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew was an initiative of President Volodymyr Zelensky and experts assess this step of the President as a good sign and an attempt to establish good relations with Constantinople.

It is reported by BBC News Ukraine.

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Several interlocutors of the BBC said that the meeting and the conversation were normal and proceeded in a "positive mood".

After the meeting, Patriarch Bartholomew followed Zelensky from the Patriarchate all the way to the car with a smile and a traditional farewell with kisses.

But before the meeting some misunderstanding arose between the representatives of Constantinople and the office of President Zelensky.

In particular, it was originally planned that the Patriarch and the President of Ukraine would sign a joint statement. The plans to sign the document were confirmed by sources both in Kyiv and in Istanbul.

However, at the last moment the parties did not come to mutual agreement, and, according to the interlocutors, the President's team refused to sign the document, which was prepared on the Phanar in cooperation with the foreign Ministry.

According to one of the interlocutors, the statement should mainly concern environmental issues, because Patriarch Bartholomew is known for his activities in this area, he is even often informally called the "Green Patriarch".

The interlocutors of BBC News Ukraine could not explain why the President's office disliked the ecology-related statement and note that there was no political provocative language.

After the meeting, President Zelensky had almost no contact with journalists who had gathered in the Patriarchate.

The President's office also refused to answer the question why they did not sign the joint statement.

Subsequently, the President's office published a short release. According to him, Patriarch Bartholomew supported the sovereignty of Ukraine, and Zelensky thanked him for his support.

“The government should not interfere in church affairs, I will defend the independence of the Church,” the press service of Zelensky quoted the President.

Constantinople later reported that the main topic of conversation was the development of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.

“Constantinople will not interfere in the internal affairs of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, it is absolutely independent,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.

The press service also quotes the Patriarch's address to the President: “Your visit is happening after the establishment of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and we pray that it always enjoys your support and protection.”

In turn, Mr. Zelensky, as the press service of the Patriarchate indicates, expressed his joy at the visit and considered it an honor to meet with the Patriarch.

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  • bopa | 9 August 2019, 19:42
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    Президента Зеленського можна зрозуміти. Адже екологія не входить у сферу компетентності Президента України. Екологія - компетенція Прем'єр-міністра. Через півроку - рік, думаю, документ буде підписано і ратифіковано!

    • barni | 9 August 2019, 21:43
      comment comment

      Екологія "не входить в компетенцію" Президента - ну це якийсь новітній АНЕКДОТ!!! Екологія входить в компетенцію кожної НОРМАЛЬНОЇ людини, а за будь-якого урядовця, будь-якого спрямування, навіть мови не повинно бути !!!

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