Agreement Between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate

This is an unofficial translation of the recently-released Ukrainian original of the agreement between President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, dated 3 November 2018. The English original has not yet been made public.

Agreement on cooperation and interaction between


This agreement on cooperation and interaction (hereinafter, the Agreement) is concluded between UKRAINE, represented by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and and the ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE OF CONSTANTINOPLE (hereinafter, the Ecumenical Patriarchate) represented by His All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (hereinafter, the Parties).

The parties recognize the prominent role of Orthodoxy and the Orthodox Church in the history of Ukraine, which for more than a thousand years have enriched the country’s spiritual and material culture.

The baptism of the Kyivan Rus’-Ukraine in 988 by the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Volodymyr is an important stage of the Spiritual progress of the Ukrainian people, which was Kyivan Rus’-Ukraine key to entry into the number of the most influential countries of the world at that time.

From year 988, the Kyivan Metropolia has always maintained a bond with the Mother Church of Constantinople.

Stavropegial monasteries, brotherhoods and missions had a large role in this. Directly subordinated to the Ecumenical Patriarch, they provided a permanent Eucharistic bond between the newly-established Kyivan Metropolia and the Mother Church of Constantinople. These nuclei of Orthodox spirituality were centers that embued the culture of Kyivan Rus’-Ukraine and later, Ukraine with Christian content; in harmony with the local culture, they formed the unique spiritual culture of Kyivan Rus’-Ukraine.

Even after many centuries of statelessness and servitude, the awareness of generations of Ukrainians of this permanent spiritual spiritual bond between the Mother Church of Constantinople and Kyiv was key to successful progress in obtaining autocephaly for their own Orthodox Church.

At a time when the Ukrainian state and people are struggling to defend their right to national and spiritual independence, the Mother Church of Constantinople, as First See of the Orthodox World,

being aware of her responsibility for all Orthodox communities and especially for those who have received Holy Baptism directly with the blessing of Patriarchs of Constantinople,

contributing to national consolidation on the basis of recognizing a unique and self-sufficient Ukrainian Orthodox tradition and exercising the right to institute the Ukrainian Orthodox Church through the provision of the appropriate Tomos,

supports Orthodox Ukrainians in completing the process of establishing an Autocephalous Local Church in Ukraine, which enriches and strengthens the family of Autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

Ukraine, according to the ancient historical and canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church, recognizes and respects the status of the Ecumenical Patriarch as first in honor among the Orthodox Patriarchs and Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate appreciates Ukraine’s intention to implement the cooperation in light of the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Council of Europe, 4.11.1950).

In an effort to expand bilateral relations and strengthen spiritual contacts between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Parties agreed on the following:

Article 1. The purpose of this Agreement is the joint and coordinated activity of the Parties, as well as their systematic cooperation on the instituting of the Autocephalous Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine within the framework of the Tomos on autocephaly provided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and facilitating the contacts of the religious organization the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine” (hereinafter, the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine”) between the Autocephalous Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Article 2. In order to achieve the purpose of this Agreement, the Parties have agreed to cooperate in the following areas:

2.1 joint systematic work on the creation and institution of the Autocephalous Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine with a center in the city of Kyiv based on the Tomos on autocephaly granted to it by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its recognition by the other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches;

2.2. conducting analytical and methodological work on problems of relations between relevant state bodies and Orthodox religious organizations, generalizing the existing best practices of various countries and developing recommendations on this issue;

2.3 exchange of information about the current religious situation in worldwide and Ukrainian Orthodoxy;

2.4 carrying out joint measures for the implementation of this Agreement and inviting representatives of the Parties, as well as of other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, to participate in them;

2.5 consultation on agreed topics;

2.6 organizing relations between the parties on the principles of equality, honesty, and good-faith cooperation, as well as of the protection of each other’s interests;

2.7 assistance within competence in carrying out significant social, cultural and educational projects that can be initiated by the Parties for the implementation of the Agreement, within their competence;

2.8 taking all necessary measures to preserve information received by the Parties from each other, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.

2.9 coordinating all other joint measures within this Agreement.

Article 3. The Parties will endeavor to further develop mutually beneficial cooperation.

3.1 In accordance with the objective of the Agreement, Ukraine will promote:

— the functioning of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s representation in Ukraine, namely the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine”, in accordance with the law of Ukraine “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations”;

— the receipt, in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s representation in Ukraine, namely the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine”, buildings, premises and other objects of property necessary for the operation of the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine”.

— the provision of visa support to the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine” in accordance with Article 24 of the law of Ukraine “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations”.

3.2 In accordance with the purpose of the Agreement, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, acting through its representation, namely the Mission “Stavropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine”, will promote:

— the institution in Ukraine of the Autocephalous Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, after its creation on the basis of the Tomos on autocephaly granted to it by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in accordance with the canonical teachings and dogmas of Ecumenical Orthodoxy (Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles, Canon 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, Canon 38 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council);

— active cooperation and dialogue with the leaders and authorized representatives of all centers of Ukrainian Orthodoxy;

— representation of the interests and positions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during unifying processes in Ukrainian Orthodoxy;

— supporting and establishing contacts between the Autocephalous Local Church in Ukraine and the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches in other countries.

Article 4. The Parties will hold regular consultations on issues of concerted action to improve the quality of cooperation.

4.1 In the course of consultations, current and future issues of interaction between the Parties can be considered.

4.2 If necessary, the Parties will hold special consultations, the topic, place and date of which shall be agreed later.

Article 5. While respecting the norms of international law, this Agreement shall come into force from the date of its signature by the Parties and shall remain in force until terminated by the Parties’ mutual consent.

5.1. The Parties may terminate this Agreement at any time by prior written consent.

5.2. In the event of the termination of this Agreement, measures taken on its basis and not implemented during the term of the Agreement shall continue and be implemented in accordance with conditions previously agreed upon by the Parties, except when it is impossible to implement such measures.

Article 6. Any amendments and additions to this Agreement shall be made only with the written consent of the Parties and shall become an integral part thereof.

6.1. Any disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall be settled by the Parties through consultation and mutual consent.

6.2. This Agreement is made in two (2) copies, each in Ukrainian and English, both texts being equally authoritative.

Phanar, November 3, 2018



President of Ukraine



His All-Holiness Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

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