Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP Is Gradually Becoming a Political Lobbyist
"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is gradually becoming a political lobbyist," Ukrayinska Pravda reports. According to the news agency, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) acts as a lobbyist for the interests of certain commercial firms.
In particular, the report says that in November of this year the head of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Volodymyr, approached Prime Minister Mykola Azarov with regard to allocating a quota for the export of grain for a subsidiary of a Russian company.
"Ukrayinska Pravda was able to read the letter signed by Metropolitan Volodymyr. The sources in the Cabinet of Ministers did not allow the it to be photocopied as they were afraid of consequences, but we did have the chance to write down its text," reads the report.
The journalists discovered that Fedcominvest Monaco SAM, which is registered in Monaco, owns the majority of the closed joint-stock company Fedkominvest-Ukraina, according to official information of the State Commission for Securities and Stock Market, whose interests are looked after by the head of the UOC-MP.
The text of the letter quoted by Ukrayinska Pravda reads as follows:
"To Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov:
ІCF Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, which conducts the construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection of the UOC-MP in Kyiv, does hereby request to allocate additional quotas for the period of prohibition of export of grain in 2010 (grain, corn, barley) totaling 1 million tons for the closed joint-stock company Fedkominvest-Ukraina, which owns transshipment facilities (Transinvestservice Grain Transshipment Complex, Port Pivdennyi, city of Odesa).
The money earned as a result of the joint activity of ICF Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ and Fedkominvest-Ukraina will be allocated for the construction of the mentioned cathedral.
Respectfully, Metropolitan Volodymyr."
In the end of the letter, the office and cell phone numbers of Protopriest Heorhii Kovalenko are listed.
The address is registered in the office of the Cabinet of Ministers under number 65864/0/1-110 of November 2, 2010.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov appended the following instructions on the address and referred them to the Minister of the Agrarian Policy, Prysiazhniuk and Minister of Economy, Tsushko: "To carefully consider and make an appropriate decision taking into account the specified circumstances."
Last summer, the Ukrayinska Pravda wrote that Metropolitan Volodymyr sought appointment of the head of the Council of Entrepreneurs of to the Cabinet of Ministers. He interceded for the "vodka businesswoman," Lyudmila Rusalina.