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Ukraine made its choice in favor of European family of nations as early as in Prince Volodymyr’s times - Patriarch Sviatoslav

11.07.2016, 10:22
Ukraine made its choice in favor of European family of nations as early as in Prince Volodymyr’s times - Patriarch Sviatoslav - фото 1

It is obvious that in our movement to Europe, we need something to bring to Europe. Ukraine will be of interest for European civilization if it retains its identity, if it comes as a poor supplicant but as a nation with own rich culture and rich spiritual legacy. In fact, we have something to say to the world and to share with it.

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His Beatitude Sviatoslav was reported as saying this in his interview to the American edition “Ukrainian People,” when answering the question whether the European integration should become a major and unchanging foreign policy priority for Ukraine.

The Patriarch of the UGCC said that de facto, the events on the Maidan, the Revolution of Dignity were distinct evidence of European values. “Today, very often it turns out that Europe has forgotten its roots. It is hard to believe that a European is able to sacrifice his life for the ‘European values’, while Ukraine daily sacrifices its best sons and daughters,” said the patriarch.

He reminded that Ukraine had made its choice in favor of the European family of nations as early as in the time of Prince Volodymyr, having adopted Christianity. “I would not juxtapose two realities: the establishment of its independence, and thus, for example, our civilization movement in the European family of nations. These are two stages of the process. We can remain a free and independent country and confront the threat of assimilation in the East only when we become a truly valuable member of the family of European nations,” the Patriarch said.

He cited an example: “The Russian state leaders denied the existence of the Ukrainian nation as such, its culture, identity, and thus denied its right to exist as a separate state. If Ukraine and we as a nation will be absorbed by this community, this Eurasian space, we risk disappearing as a people, as a nation, as a culture.”

In the interview, His Beatitude Sviatoslav also said that before the Revolution of Dignity representatives of all churches and religious organizations in Ukraine, including the Moscow Patriarchate, had signed a letter of appeal regarding the European aspirations of the Ukrainian people. It was reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.