Russia obstructs recognition of the OCU by Georgian Church, - Metropolitan Epifaniy
He stated this in a Saturday interview with Radio Liberty.
According to the head of the OCU, "The influence is being exerted, as we understand and know, by the Russian Federation, it blackmails the Georgian Church – if they recognize Ukrainian autocephaly, they will finally take Abkhazia from them, that is, part of the occupied territory now. And that's why there's such hesitation."
He noted that "Ukrainians have friendly and good relations with Georgians." However, Metropolitan Epifaniy expressed confidence that not only Georgian but also other Churches will later join the process of recognizing Ukrainian autocephaly.
"That time will definitely come. It's only been three years. These are very short terms, as we know from the history of the Church. We are talking about a thousand-year history, about ancient roots. And during these three years, a lot has already been done. And other churches will certainly join this process in the future. Because the truth always wins," the first hierarch said.
The process of recognition of newly and canonically created Churches by other Churches usually lasts for years or even decades.
On January 5, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos on autocephaly of the OCU. To date, it has been recognized by four Orthodox Churches: the Ecumenical and Alexandrian Patriarchates, the Churches of Greece and Cyprus.
The Georgian Orthodox Church is now formally operating in Russian-occupied Abkhazia, considering this separatist region its canonical territory.
However, the unrecognized Abkhazian Orthodox Church, with the support of the Moscow Patriarchate, is actively trying to get autocephaly.