Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia reserves the right to react in the event of a threat to the right to freedom of religion in neighboring countries. He said this at an event held on the occasion of the enthronement anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church head, Patriarch Kirill, nv.ua reports with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.
Putin said that the Ukrainian authorities were allegedly interfering in church affairs and added that such actions on the territory of the Russian Federation are “absolutely unacceptable”.
“Speculations, politicking, parasitism on religious life lead to the separation of people, provoke anger and intolerance. It is this kind of project that is not related to faith, but a false one, linked to the struggle for power that is being implemented today in Ukraine,” Putin said.
The Unification Council was held on December 15 in Kyiv, where the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was established. It was headed by Metropolitan Epiphanius. On January 5, the Patriarch signed the Tomos of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Russian Orthodox Church and the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate do not recognize the results of the unifying council.
On December 20, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law obliging the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to indicate in its title that it belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). After the creation of the UOC, separate branches of the Moscow Patriarchate began to gradually enter the new church.