Greek diaspora demands that Russia stops the pressure on Athens for recognizing OCU
The public organization "Union of Greeks of Ukraine" made a statement in which it sharply condemned the facts of interference of the Russian Federation in the Greek-Ukrainian interfaith and religious relations.
"As we learned from the public statement of the ex-Minister of Defense of Greece, Mr Kammenos, the Russian authorities are trying to influence the Greek government, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate to repeal the decision of the churches to recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine... Both Ukraine, Greece, and Russia are secular states in which the religious and public sectors are separate from power and politics. The decision of the Greek Orthodox Church to recognize the OCU is not political, so it is low, unethical and defiant to use this topic on the part of Russia to influence Greece,” the statement said.
Its authors stressed that such actions primarily affect the Greek community of Ukraine, which with the recognition of the ptsu as a religious community of Greece, was able to conduct services in Greek - an opportunity that the Greeks of Ukraine lost in the XVII century.
“With the recognition by the Greek Church of the OCU, the Greeks of Ukraine received additional opportunities to restore their culture, history, traditions and religion. We have received strong support from the OCU in order for the whole of Ukraine to see the sights of the Greek community in its processes, formation, strengthening,” the document says.
The Greek community of Ukraine appealed to Russian politicians and public figures to stop the pressure on Greece and the Greek Orthodox Church, to respect the sovereign right of the population of Ukraine, in particular, ethnic Greeks, to receive their independent Church.
They also urged the Greek authorities to take into account that the decision to recognize the OCU was for the Greeks of Ukraine perhaps the most significant event of the last millennium in terms of Greek-Ukrainian relations.
The statement was signed by the first Vice-President of the NGO” Union of Greeks of Ukraine", Professor, doctor of science in public administration, a renowned figure of the science and technology of Ukraine, Mykola Koretsky.
As it was reported, the Greek right-wing eurosceptic politician Panos Kammenos, closely associated with Russia, frankly admitted that before the decision of the Church of Greece to recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was made, he exerted pressure on Archbishop Hieronymos, demanding not to allow this decision.