2019-02-18 15:47:00

SBU head Gritsak accuses Russia of playing 'religious card' in Ukraine for interference in electoral process

Kiev, February 18, Interfax - The Russian Federation is using religious issues to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and interfere in the electoral process, Vasily Gritsak, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), said.

There will be interference in Ukraine's elections, Gritsak said at a coordination meeting with the heads of the law enforcement agencies on Monday. "The key issue is maximal destabilization of the operative situation, including that leading to the commission of grave crimes," he said.

The Ukrainian law enforcement agencies will together do everything to ensure that the election in the country is valid, Gritsak said.

The presidential election will be held in Ukraine on March 31.

When asked who the Ukrainian security structures expect to interfere, Gritsak said: "The Russian Federation. We have recently seen the 'religious card' being played in order to destabilize the situation."

Gritsak said the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not directly involved in this process.

"There are no grounds to say that representatives of this Church are involved [...] The task is to intimidate representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), to make their reaction as natural as possible," he said.