Putin insists OCU is a "purely political secular project meant to divide Russian and Ukrainian people not only on national, but also religious basis."
"It is not a coincidence that Kyiv declared ‘the final aqcuisition of independence from Moscow,’" the president added.
In Putin’s view, Orthodox Church in Ukraine "is completely subordinated to Istanbul." On the contrary, UOC MP is "fully independent in its actions, preserving solely canonical ties to Russian Orthodox Church," he said.
Putin stressed that UOC MP priests and worshipers are being harassed and persecuted in Ukraine. The church itself "is being deprived of its legitimate title," the Russian president believes.
He also said that Russia "has no intention to interfere in church processes, especially in the territory of a neighboring sovereign state."