Top clerics in the Ukrainian orthodox church on Monday arrived in the country’s presidential administration to discuss controversies related to the Kyiv's 11th-century Pechersk Lavra monastery, whose monks are now fighting eviction by the Ukrainian government because of their church's links with Russia.
The move by the top clerics came following the latest synod session earlier on Monday, as last Friday, Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Ukrainian culture minister, announced the termination of the lease that allowed the church to occupy part of the monastery free of charge and set a deadline on March 29.
The clerics told the media they wished a “personal meeting” with Zelenskyy to “better explain the situation”, saying the church’s next steps would be dependent on the government’s response.
The ancient religious complex is the country's most significant Orthodox monastery.that was under the Russian jurisdiction until recently.
Monks residing there claim they broke with the Russian Orthodox Church after its leader, Patriarch Kirill, backed Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year, but the Ukrainian government remains skeptical and urges them to join the recently established Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which Moscow's Patriarchate does not recognise.
The Kremlin has condemned the developments over the iconic monastery complex as "outrageous decisions".