What was deduced at the time when Poroshenko concluded the agreement with the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew at the back end of 2018 has now become a fully-fledged fact. On March 12th 2019 the “Ukrainski Novini” agency, which is said to be linked with the environment of Poroshenko’s nemesis Igor Kolomoisky, managed to get hold of a copy of the agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Constantinople Patriarchate from the Administration of the President of Ukraine.
Thus, it follows from reading the document that the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, having signed on November 3rd 2018 in Istanbul (Turkey) the agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Constantinople Patriarchate in exchange for the Tomos of Autocephaly of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), undertook to transfer “buildings, rooms, and also other objects of property” in Ukraine to the Stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
In accordance with the purpose of this agreement, Ukraine will facilitate: the acquisition, in line with the legislation of Ukraine, by the representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, namely the mission ‘Stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine’, of buildings, rooms, and other objects of property necessary for the functioning of the mission ‘Stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine’
The following is a chronology of how the document was obtained:
- On November 3rd 2018 Poroshenko and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the cooperation agreement. It was signed during the official visit of Poroshenko to Turkey. No comments were made about the contents of the text of the agreement during the ceremony.
- 15 minutes later, after the end of the ceremony, Poroshenko reported on Twitter that the agreement on interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate had been signed. “The agreement that we signed today completes the process and creates all the conditions so that preparation for the Sobor and the procedure of granting Tomos are carried out according to the canons of the Orthodox Church,” wrote Poroshenko.
- On the same day, on the official website of the President of Ukraine a statement appeared about the agreement signed by Petro Poroshenko and Bartholomew “On cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Constantinople Patriarchate”.
- On November 4th “Ukrainski Novini” contacted the Presidential Administration (PA) with a request to provide a copy of the signed document.
- On November 12th the PA answered by saying that it cannot quickly provide a copy of the agreement and reported that there was a 20 working day delay in the processing of the inquiry. But according to the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information”, a delay is possible only when the inquiry “concerns granting a large volume of information or requires a search of information from among a significant amount of data”. Which one of the two above-mentioned reasons formed the basis for the delay in providing a copy of this specific document occupying several pages of text, the Presidential Administration did not specify.
- On December 3rd 2018 the PA, without explaining why, refused to provide access to a copy of the agreement signed on behalf of Ukraine by Poroshenko and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “According to the made decision, all documents connected to obtaining the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarch by Ukraine concerning the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, including the agreement requested by you, will be published after a final decision is made on this matter ,” stressed the PA in its answer.
- Having studied the signed agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Constantinople Patriarchate, the cause the delay of the PA in providing the text became clear. It is unprofitable for Poroshenko, on the eve of the presidential election, to admit the fact that the price of creating an autocephalous local orthodox church and receiving Tomos of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was the transferal of state owned objects to the continuous free use of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs and Crimean Senator Sergey Tsekov commented on the published agreement on the air of “Radio Sputnik”:
We understand very well that during all this story the US stood behind Constantinople, and Poroshenko, over the five years of his presidency, actually handed Ukraine over to the US. And it is clear that those objects that Poroshenko planned to transfer to Constantinople, he intended to take away from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The agreement with Constantinople is a part of his electoral campaign, and he formulated the essence of this campaign long before it began: ‘Army, language, faith‘. Things are clear concerning the army, and with language too (this is total Ukrainisation), and faith, in Poroshenko’s understanding, is to receive Tomos. He expected that on the basis of this campaign he would be re-elected as president. But I think the Ukrainian people have enough common sense to grasp all of this
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