UKRAINE CONSIDERS LEAVING ASSEMBLY OF ORTHODOXY WHERE STATE DUMA DEPUTY PRESIDES
RISU, 24 June 2019
If representatives of Russia dominate the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy in the future, and also advance their own agenda, then Ukraine will likely not participate in its sessions any more.
Such is the conviction of a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Assembly of Orthodoxy, Viktor Elensky, expressed in a commentary on 5 Kanal. In addition, he hopes that deputies of the assembly will condemn Russia's conduct.
"We will conduct consultations, if the Russians dominate this assembly and if they advance their own agenda, and if Orthodox deputies from Orthodox countries do not condemn its conduct then I do not see any sense in participating in this assembly. We are partners with the Georgians. And what is happening in Georgia involves us, and I felt how common people support us. Of course, we expect that the Georgian Orthodox Church will finally recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. This would be very important for inter-Orthodox relations," Elensky commented.
As reported, in the evening of 20 June in Tbilisi, participants in an opposition rally broke into the territory of the parliament of Georgia. Several hundred persons entered the inner court of the parliament. At least 5,000 persons participated in the demonstration of protest in all. The demonstration participants demanded the removal of the chairman of parliament, Irakly Kobakhidze; the head of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Georgy Gakharii; and the head of the Security Service of Georgia, Vakhtang Gomelauri, because of the visit to Tbilisi by the Russian deputies. Then the police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. During the confrontation, 52 persons were injured.
We recall that the cause of the protest was the participation of a Russian delegation in a session of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy. The president of this association is Sergei Gavrilov, a State Duma deputy and member of the Communist Party of the [Russian] Federation. He opened the session in the chair of the speaker of the Georgian parliament. Yesterday he stated his support for Russia's occupation of the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia. During the session, he addressed the audience in Russian. His speech was interrupted by deputies of opposition parties European Georgia and United National Movement. Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Dolgov arranged a demarche and left the hall. After a break in the session, the Russian delegation, accompanied by strong security, urgently left Georgia.
Information: The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy is an organization created in 1993 on the initiative of the parliament of Greece. Russia has a leading role within it. Parliamentary delegations from 25 states participate in the work of the assembly, including Ukraine. (tr. by PDS, posted 24 June 2019)
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