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Ukraine's Zelensky, Patriarch Bartholomew did not sign planned join statement, - BBC

The misunderstandings appeared between the representatives of Constantinople and the Ukrainian President’s Office before the meeting
21:41, 8 August 2019

Volodymyr Zelensky. the President of Ukraine and Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch
Press Service of the President of Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during his first official visit to Turkey. However, there were misunderstandings between the representatives of Constantinople and the President’s Office, as BBC News Ukraine reported.

Particularly, initially, it was planned that the patriarch and the president will sign a joint statement. The sources in Kyiv and Istanbul confirmed the signing of the document.

“However, at the last minute, the sides did not understand each other and, according to parties, the team of the president refused to sign the document, which was prepared in Fener in the cooperation with the Foreign Ministry,” the message said.

Related: It is time to finalize Ukrainian-Turkish free-trade zone negotiations, - Erdogan

The news agency reported that the statement should mostly concern ecology issue as Bartholomew is known for the activity in this sphere, he often unofficially called “Green Patriarch.”

The interlocutors of the news agency could not explain why the President’s Office did not like the statement on the ecology issue and noted that there were no political provocative formulations.

After the meeting, Zelensky almost did not communicate with the journalists, who gathered in Patriarchate.

Related: Ukraine, Turkey sign partnership agreement

“About everything. About everything that embarrasses everyone we talked. I am really glad that we have powerful support here not only at the political level,” Zelensky said after question about the topic of the talk, as Ukrinform reported.

Ukrainian leader met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the frameworks of Zelensky’s Turkish tour and Ukrainian-Turkish business forum.

Related: No recognition of Crimea’s annexation by Turkey, - Erdogan

As we reported earlier, Zelensky came to Turkey with an official visit on August 7, 2019. This is his first visit to Turkey as the President of Ukraine He had a meeting with the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Zelensky offered Turkey to join the process of Donbas infrastructure rebuilding.

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