risu.org.ua - The Ukrainian embassy has criticised the Queen for inviting the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to Buckingham Palace this week, The Times informs.
Natalia Galibarenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, said that Patriarch Kirill was a former KGB agent who has been outspoken in his support of Russian aggression. She said that the invitation risked legitimising Russia’s foreign policy in the eyes of the world. She added: “Patriarch Kirill is a Kremlin mouthpiece.”
The church leader arrived in London on Saturday for a four-day visit, culminating in the royal visit and a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Yesterday the patriarch led a service at the Russian Orthodox Church in London to mark the 300th anniversary of the church in Britain. Justin Welby and Prince Michael of Kent were among the guests.
Patriarch Kirill has described Russia’s actions in Syria as a holy war and said of the action in Ukraine that the Russian people had a “right to be united”.
The Foreign Office said that the meeting was part of the Queen’s duties as supreme governor of the Church of England and it was “appropriate to recognise shared history and links”.