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President Vladimir Putin had a lunch with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II

November 29, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow

During the lunch, they discussed the problem of overcoming an Orthodox schism in Ukraine. Mr Kuchma shared with Alexy II his point of view on how to overcome the crisis in the Church, which followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Ukrainian leader said that the granting of autonomy to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate would solve many painful problems.

During a jubilee session of the Council of Bishops in 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted a new charter, which granted the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate the right of self-governance. At the same time, the Council said it was ready to proclaim the autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, but on condition that the problem was solved at the pan-Orthodox level.

November 29, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow