Political experts: Poroshenko’s tape scandal won’t affect OCU
Bortnik and Bondarenko explained why the records of Poroshenko and Biden talks will not affect the OCU and if the scandals around Poroshenko and Fanar Head are linked.
Political analysts Ruslan Bortnik and Konstantin Bondarenko told the UOJ correspondent whether the fate of the OCU, which was created with the active support of former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, will be affected by the scandal surrounding the tapes of his conversations with US Vice President Joe Biden and Head of the State Department John Kerry.
On May 19, 2020, non-factional deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andrei Derkach released these records on the air of the 112 Ukraine TV channel. From the content of the conversations of the former President of Ukraine, it follows that our state is under tight external control from the United States.
According to Bortnik, the scandal surrounding the records may slightly weaken the political support of the OCU, but it will not have a significant impact on its fate.
“These records will have to go a long and difficult way of verification of authenticity. The OCU is not mentioned there. They are likely to cause significant harm to Poroshenko himself and everything associated with him,” the expert noted. “I do not think that the church structure of Epiphany Dumenko will be significantly affected by these records. If the situation around Poroshenko worsens, the political support of the OCU may also weaken.”
The political expert reiterated that even if Poroshenko might be brought to justice, this will not affect the religious organization led by Epiphany Dumenko.
His colleague, Konstantin Bondarenko, explained why certain political forces in Ukraine will continue to support the development of the OCU.
“The OCU is not the brainchild of Poroshenko, but one of the most influential employees of the US State Department, Samuel Brownback. Poroshenko only acted as a tool to create the OCU,” said the politologist. “Since Samuel Brownback is still the State Department’s special representative for religious affairs, and since the State Department is directly interested in the functioning of such an institution as the OCU, it is unlikely that the reshuffle of political actors in Ukraine will somehow influence the fate of the OCU project itself.”
According to Bondarenko, Epiphany Dumenko’s church structure will respond to Poroshenko only as the “lost sheep” – it will lose one parishioner, albeit a very affluent one.
“It is crucial who guides and feeds the church hierarchy. If it is not Poroshenko, it will be someone else,” Mr. Bondarenko explained.
The expert is also sure that there is no connection between the scandal surrounding Poroshenko and the scandal surrounding Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, whom the Turkish media accused of complicity in the coup d’état in Turkey.
Bondarenko recalled that the topic of the possible involvement of the Head of Phanar in the coup was raised for the first time 4 years ago. Both then and now, a criminal case has never been opened against Patriarch Bartholomew.
Bortnik also believes that America is not interested in the scandal that occurred over the Head of Phanar, and therefore there is no connection between the stories of Poroshenko and the Patriarch of Constantinople.
In September 2018, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who had previously performed a wedding ceremony for a gay couple at home, and who was not allowed to receive the Holy Communion because of his support for abortion, declared the importance of creating a Single Local Church in Ukraine.