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Moscow Wants to Offer Protections, Even Russian Citizenship, to Ukrainian Religious Dissidents

Kiev is not going to be happy about this

The Russian State Duma intends to adopt measures on the protection of clergy who are persecuted for their faith in Ukraine, Vyacheslav Volodin, the Speaker of the Russian Parliament told journalists on Tuesday, reports Interfax-Religion.


“Today in Ukraine, one of the foundational constitutional principles—the freedom of religion—is being grossly violated,” Volodin commented, referring to the serious pressure that clergy of the Canonical Ukrainian Church are under, as well as the searches and interrogations they are subjected to. [The Canonical Ukrainian Church is separate from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is supported by Ukrainian President Poroshenko. -ed.]

He also said it is a possibility that deputies will prepare legislative proposals providing for a special procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for Ukrainians who are persecuted for religious reasons.

The Speaker also noted that the State Duma is considering sending a declaration “about the inadmissibility of the incitement to religious enmity and persecution against the faithful and clergy in Ukraine” to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other inter-parliamentary organizations and to the national parliament of European countries.

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According to Volodin, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE should have already made an assessment of the actions of Kiev and President Poroshenko personally long ago.

“It’s necessary to take actions that will force the Ukrainian authorities to stop the pressure on the clergy and parishioners,” Volodin said.

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