Russia has drawn the attention of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to Ukraine’s violations of international standards in the freedom of conscience, said Darya Mosina, spokeswoman for the Department for Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in her speech on behalf of Russia at the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting on Thursday, TASS reported.
"Despite the great number of relevant obligations undertaken in the OSCE, the fight against religious intolerance, racism, xenophobia and aggressive nationalism remains one of the most important tasks for the organization," she said.
"The situation in Ukraine is raising concerns. Kiev’s authorities are openly conniving at the seizures of churches of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the far-right and violence against its clergy and believers. They’re trying to impose restrictions on the activity of this largest confession in Ukraine and split the church parishes," the Russian representative stated.
"The statements made by the authorities about the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - while the Ukrainian Orthodox Church itself has never stated the intention to obtain it - are leading to a bigger split in the society. Kiev should immediately stop rude violations of international human rights standards and obligations of the OSCE in the freedom of conscience," she added.
Mosina named the growth of anti-migration and anti-Muslim sentiments among other problems in the fight against religious intolerance, as well as the spread of antisemitism.