Byelorussian autocephaly was not discussed between Lukashenko, Patriarch Bartholomew – Administration

Minsk, October 14, Interfax – Minsk has called “ludicrous” and “provocative” the allegations by some Russian media outlets that during Byelorussian President Alexander Lukashenko’s recent visit to Turkey, he might have discussed with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople the possibility of creating an autocephaly of the Byelorussian Orthodox Church.

“Such reports which surfaced in the Russian press are another vile provocation, of which there have been more and more lately,” chief of the Byelorussian presidential administration Vladimir Makei told Interfax.

“Byelorussians are openly laughing at hordes of media hoaxes forced by Russians into the Byelorussian territory, and get bored if a day passes without such hoaxes,” he said.

“Yesterday it was the lie about Alexander Lukashenko considering Byelorussia’s pullout from the Customs Union, the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] and other integration organizations, should Russia challenge the validity of our presidential election. Today it was the lie about the Byelorussian Orthodox Church’s plans to secede from the Russian Orthodox Church, and tomorrow there will be piggish squeals about Russians being discriminated and killed in Byelorussia,” Makei said.

“As for the ludicrousness of the claims about talks between Alexander Lukashenko and the patriarch of Constantinople regarding the creation of some autocephaly, I would like it to be known that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill was aware of the scheduled visit by the Byelorussian President to Turkey and personally blessed the meeting between the Byelorussian President and Patriarch Bartholomew,” said the chief of the presidential administration.

“The rest is from the category of conjectures,” Makei said.

Commenting on the reports about Lukashenko’s meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, the Byelorussian Orthodox Church told Interfax that, “such speculative judgments have no bearing on the real existence of the Byelorussian Orthodox Church.”