Expert: Discussing "transitions" with Blinken is OCU's signal to power

06 May 2021 18:51
Head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation / UP Foundation Konstantin Bondarenko. Photo: Head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation / UP Foundation Konstantin Bondarenko. Photo:

Political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko commented on the meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko.

Discussion of the problem of "transitions" of religious communities with the US Secretary of State is a message from the leadership of the OCU to the Ukrainian authorities. The head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation / UP Foundation, historian, political expert Konstantin Bondarenko said this in a comment for the UOJ.

According to the expert, the very fact of the meeting of the head of the US Department of State Antony Blinken with Epiphany, which took place today in Kyiv, is a symbolic gesture.

“Blinken decided to show that the position of the current administration of the White House and the administration of the State Department will involve continuity, that they will continue to support everything that was started by Sam Brownback – one of the employees of the US State Department during the Trump era, i.e. destruction of the Orthodox Church, the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church, especially in Eastern Europe. Accordingly, it was a symbolic gesture that ‘we will continue this policy’," Konstantin Bondarenko said.

As for the message of the OCU press service that Blinken and Epiphany discussed "the importance of removing artificial obstacles in the determination by the communities’ of their religious identity", then, according to the expert, "if this is really so, then in this situation it is nothing more than attempts by the leadership of the OCU to resort to the authority of foreign politicians – something like they should influence the Ukrainian authorities so that the latter facilitate the development of our church network."

Recall that on May 6, 2021, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a two-day official visit to Ukraine, visited the St. Michael Cathedral of the OCU in Kyiv, where he spoke with Epiphany Dumenko. In fact, the official program of Blinken's visit does not provide for meetings with representatives of other religious organizations in Ukraine.

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