Third Of UOC Property In Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Returned To Preserve - Minister Of Culture

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Third of UOC Property in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Returned to Preserve - Minister of Culture

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd May, 2023) One-third of the property that was in the possession of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) on the basis of an indefinite lease was returned to Ukraine's National Kiev-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve in April, Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the commission of the Ukrainian Culture Ministry said that it had handed over 16 monastery buildings to the preserve, however, the lawyers of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra refuted this information. The monastery said it does not recognize the one-sided break of the rental agreement by the National Kiev-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve as there is no court decision yet.

"The commission of the Ministry of Culture is continuing its work in the (Kiev-Pechersk) Lavra. As a result of the work carried out in April, one-third of the property that was in the possession of the UOC free of charge was returned to the state," Tkachenko said on Telegram, adding that during the last two days, the commission handed over 16 buildings of both national and regional importance to the Preserve.

Tensions between Kiev and the canonical UOC escalated after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. UOC monks were ordered to leave the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, jurisdiction over which was divided between the National Kiev-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve, a Ukrainian cultural organization, and the UOC, by March 29 for allegedly violating the terms of the lease. Tkachenko said the monks could stay in the Lavra if they joined the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Lavra monks have said the unilateral eviction order was illegal and requires a court decision.

In April, Tkachenko said that the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture had formed a commission to look into the use of state property pertaining to the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.