Experts: Petition against UOC and Trofimov hardly leads to his resignation

First Deputy Head of the Office of the President Sergey Trofimov. Photo: strana.ua

Ukrainian political experts commented on the petition for Trofimov’s dismissal “for allegiance to the Moscow Patriarchate”.

A petition published on the website of the President of Ukraine on the dismissal of the First Deputy Head of the Office of the President, Sergey Trofimov, for his “allegiance to the Moscow Patriarchate” is unlikely to lead to the resignation of the official, Ukrainian political scientists Konstantin Bondarenko, Ruslan Bortnik and Mikhail Pogrebinsky explained. They told a UOJ correspondent how to relate to this document and whether the Church should respond to new attacks against it.

"Take no notice. Personnel issues are not regulated by petitions. Besides, Zelensky (President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky – Ed.) understands who is the electoral basis of his political power and him personally. People who support the Tomos, the OCU and so on vote for Poroshenko, not Zelensky,” said Bondarenko.

The political scientist believes that now the President will be bombed with various kinds of petitions, but the head of state will make it clear that he has got a lot to do besides "all kinds of rubbish that is posted on his website".

According to political scientist Ruslan Bortnik, such a petition is an attempt of those who use the church issue for political purposes to find any supporters and continue to fight with opponents.

“The political struggle around the religious issue continues. And those people who began this struggle in 2016 and 2017 consider the Church exclusively as a tool rather than an opportunity to get closer to God and continue to fulfil their political goals. They are looking for any supporters and continue to work against the opponent,” he said.

Political scientist and political strategist Mikhail Pogrebinsky recalled that the President has known Trofimov for a long time and, therefore, trusted him.

“The President trusts Trofimov, they have been together for a long time. And the petition is unlikely to be the reason for his resignation,” the expert emphasized.

Pogrebinsky also answered the question of how the Church can protect itself from such attacks, both direct (a petition for the transfer of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the OCU – Ed.) and indirect (a petition against Trofimov, whose author accused the UOC of calls for the violation of quarantine and activities in favour of Russia – Ed.).

“I believe that the Church should not react to this at all,” the political scientist said. “There are activists who receive all kinds of grants for their anti-Orthodox activity. They do their job. The initiators of the petition can expect that the President should read it and somehow react to it or do not react. But there is no reason for the Church to stoop to interact with them.”

As reported earlier, the author of anti-church law No. 5309, Alexander Briginets, created a petition on the President’s website accusing the First Deputy Head of the Office of the President Sergey Trofimov of “allegiance to the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate” and demanded that he should be dismissed.

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