Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Evgenia Kravchuk said that it would be more difficult to break the lease agreement for the Pochaev Lavra with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) ahead of schedule than the lease agreement for the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. She announced this on April 16 on the air of the All-Ukrainian telethon.
“This agreement was signed in 2003, it has a term that expires in 50 years. The only moment that allows us to break it ahead of schedule is to check how this property is used. This will be dealt with by the commission that dealt with the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra,” Kravchuk said.
The deputy believes that the rupture of contractual relations with the Pochaev Lavra will have to be carried out step by step, RIA Novosti reports her words.
On April 5, Ukrainian deputies introduced a bill to terminate the lease agreement for the complexes of buildings of the Pochaev Assumption Lavra with the UOC.
On April 7, political scientist Kirill Averyanov, in an interview with Izvestia, noted that the UOC is unlikely to be able to return the religious buildings and structures of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra to property. He noted that a political decision “made at the very top” cannot be reversed by legal means in modern Ukraine.
The schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) and its supporters put pressure on the UOC. It intensified after the publication of a warning on March 10 on the website of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra that the monks must leave the monastery. After that, seizures of churches and clashes between schismatics and representatives of the UOC began to take place in the cities of Ukraine. At the same time, representatives of the UOC continue to remain in the Lavra.
In recent days, it has become known about raider seizures of several churches in Khmelnitsky. So, on April 9, opponents of the UOC made an attempt to capture the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Kamenetz-Podolsky, Khmelnytsky region. They called for people to come to the cathedral to storm and spread false information about the church. The believers, who defended the temple, tried to hand over subpoenas. Divine services continued inside the cathedral.
On April 8, supporters of the OCU seized St. Michael’s Cathedral in Shepetovka, Khmelnytsky region, after the regional council banned the work of the UOC in the region. On the same day, OCU supporters attempted to seize the UOC church in the village of Lipovets near Kiev.
Prior to this, on April 5, supporters of the OCU seized the Church of St. George the Victorious in Lviv during a service. About 50 people entered the territory of the cathedral, blocked the entrance to the territory and to the temple.a