The Kremlin has officially responded to the decision of Constantinople to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia intends to protect the interests of the Orthodox in Ukraine “exclusively by political and diplomatic means.”
The Russian authorities intend to protect the interests of the Orthodox in Ukraine in the event of an aggravation of the situation in connection with the decisions of the synod of the World Patriarchate, Interfax reports.
“If the events take the shape of illegal actions, then Russia, which protects the interests of Russians and Russian speakers everywhere, will also, and Putin has repeatedly said this, protect the interests of the Orthodox,” said Peskov.
The spokesman for Vladimir Putin expressed extreme concern over the decisions taken the day before in Constantinople.
The synod of the Church of Constantinople decided to terminate the decree of 1686 on the transfer of the Kyiv Metropolis to the Moscow Patriarchate. In addition, the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced a decision to remove the anathema from the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine — Filaret from the Kyiv Patriarchate and Macarius from the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.