Kyiv Security Forum

Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zoria): Without Ukraine, Russia’s imperial project is impossible

12 April 2019, 12:35

Moscow is tightly holding on to the Ukrainian church because without our country, Russia’s imperial project is impossible, Archbishop of the Chernigov and Nizhyn Orthodox Church of Ukraine and representative of the OCU in European Institutions, Yevstratiy (Zoria), is convinced.

He said this at the 12th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

"Without Ukraine, where more than 40% of the Russian Orthodox Church network is concentrated, Russia’s imperial project is impossible. Without Ukraine in state, social, economic, or political terms. That is why they are holding on to the Ukrainian church so tightly," he emphasized.

Yevstratiy noted that the independence of the Ukrainian church from Moscow positively alters the balance of power.

"The support of the Ecumenical Patriarch, his leadership despite Moscow’s disagreement will, sooner or later, lead to the balance being restored; Moscow will lose its base. Due to the fact that the Russian church has state support, it claims to be the leader of world Orthodoxy, and the issue of Ukrainian autocephaly is a part of this process the movement of world Orthodoxy," said the representative of the OCU.

According to him, the issues of world Orthodoxy are currently being resolved.

"The struggle continues to decide whether world Orthodoxy will continue to move forward with the rest of the world or will revert back to the imperial, medieval paradigm. Right now, the Ecumenical Patriarch represents the version of Orthodoxy that is moving forward and the Moscow Patriarchy is the model that plans to return everything to the concept of the Third Rome, and Ukraine is key here," he emphasized.


The annual "Kyiv Security Forum" was initiated by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk "Open Ukraine" Foundation in 2007. Since then, the Forum has become a platform for high-level, international discussions about relevant matters of national security, as well as the security of the Black Sea region, Europe, and the world.