18.04.2007, [11:02] // Church-state relations //www.risu.org.ua

ImageUzhhorod – “I supported the PSPU [Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine] simply because no other party supported the Rusyns.” So said Fr. Dymytrii Sydor, a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) who is involved in politics in southwestern Ukraine’s Transcarpathia Region. ua-reporter.com posted the news on 16 April 2007.

In his commentary, Fr. Sydor explained why he supports the PSPU, with its leader Natalia Vitrenko: “I never belonged to any party and never intended ever to join one. I supported the PSPU simply because no other party supported the Rusyns. Thus, who should we Rusyns support? Yulia Tymoshenko, who opposes Rusyns and Transcarpathia, or Vitrenko, who said she supports us?! In my opinion, Vitrenko can take the place of four Yulias. However, for the time being, we are even more prone to cooperate with the Transcarpathia Regional Council (TRC), since it gave us recognition.” Fr. Sydor, a former candidate to Ukraine’s Parliament from the Natalia Vitrenko Bloc, commented on declarations included in the pre-election program of the PSPU regarding the autonomy of western Ukraine’s Halychyna regions and Transcarpathia.

Also, he noted that when Yulia Tymoshyko supports the Rusyns, a part of Rusyns will follow her. However, she has not done anything yet for them to support her.

Fr. Sydor mentioned his previous political experience: “Once I said that Ukraine will have less problems with [current Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych than with [current President Viktor] Yushchenko. Back then, I was called a representative of the Party of Regions, headed by Premier Yanukovych, which I never was. The Socialist faction was being formed in the TRC and they lacked one person and I was invited to join it. I agreed. And journalists immediately spread the rumor that I betrayed the Party of Regions for the Socialists, when the truth is I had no relation to any of them. Instead, I belonged to Ivan Symonenko’s party Rus. I joined Symonenko’s party, but before the elections he united with Natalia Vitrenko. This is how I appeared in the bloc with Natalia Vitrenko.”

RISU note: The Ruthenian language, also called Rusyn or Carpatho-Rusyn, is a microlanguage used in parts of Serbia, Croatia and Ukrainian Transcarpathia. In Ukraine this language is also called the language of the Carpathian Ukrainians.

Source and previous related RISU news:

• http://www.ua-reporter.com/novosti/20910/

• http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;9006/

• http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;6425