On November 3, 2018, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was warmly welcomed by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Phanar. On this occasion, the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Ukrainian president signed a Coordination and Cooperation bilateral agreement between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine. This agreement would speed up the process of granting the tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine addressed the hierarchs and journalists:
“The Ukrainians wanted and prayed for one autocephalous church in Ukraine. After Pascha, in the office of His Holiness, we discussed and agreed to proceed to the creation of an autocephalous Church.”
Later on, President Poroshenko highlighted that “All the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and of the autocephalous Church of Ukraine, as well as a part of the Ukrainian Church of the Patriarchate of Moscow, have signed a request, asking the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant autocephaly. It has been the dream of the Ukrainian people for 1,030 years.”
For his part, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew first thanked President Poroshenko for offering them Saint Andrew Church in Kyiv.
“I also feel that today is a historic day for our bilateral relations and for Orthodoxy in general. We have just signed a coordination and cooperation bilateral agreement between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine. This will speed up the granting of the tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.
Ecumenical Patriarch added:
“The autocephaly you have been waiting for so long, if not for centuries, is your right. Just as it was the right of all other peoples of Eastern Europe and the Balkans who received autocephaly from the Mother Church of Constantinople. And it is the exclusive right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, according to the divine and holy canons, to give autocephaly when it sees fit, when conditions have matured.”
“We are confident that our decision will lead the Ukrainian people and the Orthodox faithful to the unity they have been deprived of for 30 years, and that the new autocephalous Church will gather almost all the Orthodox faithful of your country”, stressed the Ecumenical Patriarch.
In conclusion, the Patriarch highlighted the following:
“Mr. President, thank you for your visit and for the beautiful Saint Andrew Church that you gave us in Kyiv, so that your Mother Church of Constantinople may be permanently present in the capital of Ukraine. I pray that the Lord will make me worthy once again to visit soon your beautiful and hospitable country.”
Source in Greek