July 30, 2008
Letting Them Be
Comment by Georgy Bovt
Special to Russia Profile
Victor Yushchenko Calls for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Separate
Last weekend, celebrations of the 1020th anniversary of the
Christening of Russia took place in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
But given Ukraine's desire to continuously re-affirm its sovereignty,
along the numerous factors that presently aggravate the relationship
between Russia and Ukraine, any kind of constructive dialogue between
the two countries in the near future is impossible, as even such
holidays have political implications.
Victor Yushchenko, the president of Ukraine, uses every chance he has
to strengthen Ukrainian sovereignty, as he understands it. He never
misses an opportunity to do so. Therefore, it has been obvious for a
long time that the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the
Christening of Russia would be employed by the Ukrainian president
precisely for this purpose, which is why from the very beginning, the
celebration was bound to have a political resonance. Russian secular
and churchly authorities saw it coming. Perhaps this is why some
politicians were originally intent on "putting up a fight with
Ukrainian nationalists" and on not giving in under any circumstances.
For example, it was clear in advance that Deputy Konstantin Zatulin
would not be permitted to cross the Ukrainian border, because the
Ukrainian authorities are following the notorious "black list" policy
with regard to Russian politicians, especially those who dare to make
public statements that insult or challenge Ukrainian sovereignty.
Zatulin is one such politician: along with the Moscow Mayor Yury
Luzhkov, he has made the most controversial remarks regarding the
fact that Crimea and Sevastopol should not "belong" to Ukraine.
Zatulin went to Ukraine anyway. And, of course, he was deported.
Rest of story: