4/21, 5:47 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Russian FM: US pushing for recognition of Ukrainian church

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused on Sunday the United States of pushing for an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its recognition by other national churches in Orthodoxy.

In an interview with local media, Lavrov stated that Moscow has "enough facts to assert that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s plot of granting autocephaly to what has been called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was in fact inspired and orchestrated by the United States." He also called alleged Washington's policy a "deplorable" breach of diplomatic rules and international law.

Ukraine's Orthodox believers have been divided into three separate church jurisdictions, two of which are independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. These two churches united in December and were granted autocephaly (independence) by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I on January 6. As of now, the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine stands unrecognized by other local churches in Orthodoxy.

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