MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russia strongly condemns attempts by Ukrainian police to block the entrance to the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery in the country’s capital, Kremlin Spokesman Dmityr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
"Our position is well-known. It remains consistent. We strongly condemn these actions," he said, commenting on the situation.
Earlier, the Union of Orthodox Journalists reported that police officers had entered the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and were trying to block entrances to buildings.
The situation around the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, one of the first monasteries in Russia and the oldest monastery in present-day Ukraine, escalated to the limit in late March. The Ukrainian authorities terminated the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s (UOC) open-ended lease to the Lavra and demanded that UOC monks leave the monastery. The monks refused to obey the illegal orders, and both parties went to court. On April 1, Metropolitan Pavel, the UOC vicar of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, was charged with inciting religious hatred and justifying Russia’s actions and placed under house arrest.