2019-03-12 14:44:00

Poroshenko promised Patriarchate of Constantinople Ukrainian property in exchange for autocephaly tomos (updated)

Kiev, March 12, Interfax - Ukraine's President Pyotr Poroshenko pledged to transfer buildings, premises and other property in Ukraine to the Patriarchate of Constantinople in exchange for a tomos of autocephaly, according to a secret agreement on cooperation between Ukraine and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

"In accordance with the purpose of the agreement, Ukraine will facilitate (...) the acquisition by the Ecumenical Patriarchate's mission in Ukraine, namely the Stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, of buildings, premises and other properties necessary for the functioning of the mission," the agreement, published on Tuesday by the Ukrainian News outlet after it obtained a copy from the presidential administration, said.

The document was signed by Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew on November 3, 2018 during the former's visit to Turkey. Poroshenko's administration had for a long time refused to make it available to journalists.

"Now it is clear why the Ukrainian presidential administration has kept the text of the agreement secret for so long in violation of the Ukrainian law 'On Access to Public Information.' This has been done probably so that the Istanbul patriarch could joke at the Christmas Eve's traditional meeting with children on December 24 that he has taken some sweets and chocolate, rather than money and buildings, for 'the autocephaly' from Poroshenko," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations Vladimir Legoyda, wrote on his Telegram channel.