On 15 August 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with the head of the Delegation of the European Union to Russia, Mr. Vygaudas Ušackas, at his request. They were joined at the meeting by Mr. Rein Tammsaar, Senior Advisor at the Political Department of the EU Delegation to Russia, and archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR Secretary for Far-Abroad Countries.
Metropolitan Hilarion warmly greeted the guest at the Synodal department responsible for external contacts of the Russian Church. The Ambassador thanked the DECR chairman for the opportunity to meet with him. After that the main topic of the meeting was discussed – the situation in Ukraine.
According to Metropolitan Hilarion, what is going on in the Ukrainian land today is a great tragedy and humanitarian catastrophe, as in the eastern part of the country shots and explosions ring out every day, people are suffering and dying, civilians are forced to flee the area. An immediate ceasefire and diplomatic negotiations are needed and all parties involved in the conflict must exert every effort for that, the hierarch of the Russian Church noted. The DECR chairman also expressed his concern over the cases of destruction and damage of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as over deaths of clergymen and acts of violence against them.
The head of the EU Delegation to Russia shared with Metropolitan Hilarion his views on the situation in Ukraine and agreed with the DECR chairman on what approaches are needed to settle the difficult situation in the country.
The participants in the meeting expressed their willingness to continue cooperation.