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Washington Ignoring Situation in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Russian Ambassador to US Says

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the mediabankThe Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States should pay attention to the situation in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves), and not engage in moralizing about democracy, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said.
"Americans should find courage to move from moralizing at the 'Summit for Democracy' towards meaningful steps to stop blasphemy and crackdown on the Orthodox community," Antonov said in a statement.
On March 10, the National Kiev-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve in Ukraine ordered the monks based in the monastery to leave it by March 29 after an interdepartmental Ukrainian commission accused the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of violating the terms of an agreement on the use of state property. Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said the monks could stay in the Lavra if they joined the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
The Russian Orthodox Church says the UOC is a "self-governing church with the rights of broad autonomy" within the Moscow Patriarchate. However, in the wake of the special military operation that Russia launched in Ukraine more than a year ago, the UOC said it was independent from the Moscow Patriarchate and did not support the operation. In January, the Ukrainian government submitted a bill to parliament that seeks to ban the UOC in Ukraine if its connection with Russia is proven.
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