October 19, 2011
PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE
Dear Mr. Azarov!
As the Ukrainian Orthodox Church came to know from the media reports that on October 17, 2011 the people’s deputies of Ukraine David Zhvania, Volodymyr Stretovych, Oksana Bilozir, Catherine Lukyanov, Vladimir Marushchenko, Sergey Harovskyy requested you as Prime Minister of Ukraine to restore utility tariff benefits established in 2009-2010 for religious organizations, by the decision of previous Government of Ukraine and annulled by Decree 869 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On the unified approach to tariffs for housing services” in June 2011.
In passing we want to remind you that religious organizations are a priori non-profit, non-commercial organizations whose activities are performed exclusively owing to voluntary donations of their faithful. So by definition they can not be set equal in their obligations with businessmen including the utility payments.
We believe that the current decision of the Government of Ukraine concerning the obligation of religious organizations to pay for utilities on a par with the businessmen is not merely unnatural but also counterproductive, for it would lead to a sharp deterioration of the financial condition of religious organizations and thus to minimization of numerical charitable programs in their charge.
In this connection the Ukrainian Orthodox Church expresses its concern over this deplorable fact and hopes that soon the situation will be corrected.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church fully supports the initiative of the people’s deputies of Ukraine David Zhvania, Volodymyr Stretovych, Oksana Bilozir, Catherine Lukyanov, Vladimir Maruschenko, Sergei Harovskoho and asks the Government of Ukraine to immediately amend the Procedure of tariff formation for the heating energy, its production, transportation and supply, services of the central heating and hot water supply, calculation Procedure of retail tariffs for electricity and Procedure for retail natural gas prices for households, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on June 1, 2011, № 869, as their deputy appeal addressed to the Prime Minister of Ukraine on 17 October 2011 reads.
With sincere respect,
Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine,
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church