Ukrainian lawmakers have backed President Petro Poroshenko's appeal to the worldwide head of the Orthodox Christian Church to recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's independence from Moscow, the RFERL (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) website reports today (April 20, 2018).
The vote in the legislature came days after Poroshenko met with the Archbishop of Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, during a trip to Istanbul. Ukraine's president is requesting Patriarch Bartholomew to issue an ordinance to grant autocephaly (self-government) to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Poroshenko in a speech to parliament on April 19 called the move an act of "restoring historical justice" and "unity."
Russia illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and continues to support separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.