03:50 GMT +325 May 2019
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    Patriarch Filaret, right, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate)

    Russia Slams Direct Contacts Between Ukrainian Orthodox Church (KP), NATO

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    Moscow sharply criticized on Monday a recent visit by the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret, to NATO headquarters in Brussels.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Filaret met on April 22 with NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow to discuss the ongoing military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    "This meeting, aside from its 'military' content, hinders the resolution of controversial issues and the search for common ground within the split Ukrainian society," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    "It could also become 'a delayed-action mine' threatening the peace process in Ukraine on the basis of internal dialogue and reconciliation," the statement said.

    Ukrainian media reported last week that Patriarch Filaret also had held close to 20 meetings with various NATO and European Union leaders in a bid to garner European support.

    Previously, Patriarch Filaret visited Washington in early February, calling on the US government to provide modern defensive weapons to Ukraine.

    Related:

    Ukrainian Orthodox Church Head Requests US to Provide Modern Weapons
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    NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry, Patriarch Filaret, Ukraine, Russia
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