Kuchma Awards Kyivan Orthodox Patriarch Filaret
Greeting the patriarch, Kuchma pointed to his wisdom and wished him good health. The president also wished peace to all Orthodox Ukraine.
Patriarch Filaret stressed that the UOC-KP would always support the Ukrainian state and do everything possible to eliminate religious confrontation so that the country would live in peace and accord. He also emphasized that the UOC-KP highly appreciated the president’s position concerning the creation of one national Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The patriarch expressed his hope that one national Orthodox Church would be created in Ukraine, since it is the spiritual basis of the country. Patriarch Filaret presented the president with an icon of the Vyshhorod (or in Russian “Vladimir”) Mother of God.
President Kuchma was accompanied by Victor Medvedchuk, head of the presidential administration, Volodymyr Lytvyn, speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, and Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine. They also received icons as gifts. On 27 June 2002, the UOC-KP, created 10 years ago at the Union Sobor (Assembly), celebrated its 10th anniversary.