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DVORIKI VILLAGE (Vladimir region), July 22. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko is trying in meddle in the intra-church affairs to impair the positions of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is inadmissible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"There are many outside the Orthodox Christian world who want to split it using, first and foremost, the Ukrainian crisis and the anti-Russian rhetoric to impair the positions of the Russian Orthodox Church," Lavrov told the Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma national educational youth forum. "Politicians, including President Poroshenko, are trying to interfere in the intra-church affairs, which is inadmissible."
According to Lavrov, Poroshenko "demands creating a single Orthodox Church in Ukraine, that is, to oust the Russian Orthodox Church." "None of self-respecting countries with the Orthodox Christian population will allow this," he said.
Over the past few years, the pressure exerted by the Ukrainian authorities on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has been growing.
Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov earlier said that "totally unacceptable practices of destroying Orthodox churches and attempts to seize monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate continue in Ukraine." He noted that employees of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are often involved in these raids often accompanied by violence against Orthodox Christians.
The diplomat added that, although many Orthodox churches have been seized and some Orthodox priests killed, no investigations are conducted, and no one has been punished.