U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE criticizes the decision to demolish a church of the OCU in Yevpatoria
He said this during a speech at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, Krym.Realii reports.
Gilmore called the government's actions "a blatant disregard for fundamental freedoms."
"If Archbishop Klyment fails to destroy the Church, he may be brought to criminal responsibility,” the Ambassador stressed.
He also expressed his condolences to the family of the Crimean Tatar public activist, journalist Ruslan Suleymanov, whose son Musa died the day before.
“Also, we condemn Russia's use of charges of terrorism and extremism against Crimean Tatars, Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses for the peaceful practice of their faith. Freedom of expression, religion or belief, as well as freedom of peaceful assemblies, is being punished, as the occupation power increases control over the population,” added James Gilmore.
Earlier, the Russian administration of Yevpatoria appealed to the court to the OCU to demolish the Church and free the territory on which it is located. According to Archbishop Klyment of the Crimean Diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the construction was started before 2014, and the OCU has the relevant documents for the Church. At the same time, in the statement of claim that the Archbishop provided to Krym.Realii. It is said that the OCU does not have documents for the construction of a temple on the specified site.
The Russian-controlled Yevpatoria city court ordered the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to demolish the temple in Yevpatoria. The defense party intends to apply for a review of the court's decision. Russian bailiffs handed over a decree on the demolition of the Church in Yevpatoria to the Archbishop Klyment of the Crimean Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The representation of the President of Ukraine in the Crimea, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova criticized the decision of the Russian court in Yevpatoria.
On September 24, 2019, the Department of the Russian Ministry of Justice in Crimea for the third time refused to register a Ukrainian Orthodox parish on the peninsula.