Washington, D.C., December 31, 2019
Soon after the new year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will embark on a 5-day trip to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus.
Included in his itinerary is a visit to the schismatic St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, where Epiphany Dumenko serves, and meetings with Ukrainian religious leaders, according to a press statement from the Department of State.
Pompeo will travel to Kiev on January 3 to meet with President Zelensky and the Foreign and Defense Ministers “to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
He will also attend a wreath laying ceremony at St. Michael’s for those who have died in Donbass, “and meet with religious, civil society and business community leaders to discuss human rights issues, the investment climate, and the government’s reform agenda.”
The Secretary met with the schismatic primate Dumenko and the OCU’s apologist Evstraty Zorya in Washington in October, though he did not meet with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the Russian Orthodox Church the day before as scheduled.
Met. Hilarion later commented that opponents of the Russian Church torpedoed the meeting.
The State Department openly supports the schismatic structure in Ukraine, although its adherents actively persecute the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Church under His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
Secretary Pompeo called the “metropolitan” just days after the “unification council” last December to ensure him of the U.S.’s support for his church. The State Department also issued a message on the “momentous occasion” of the OCU receiving a tomos of autocephaly from Constantinople in January, and Pompeo and the Department have issued several other statements of support.
Makary Maletich, one of the highest-ranking hierarchs in the schismatic OCU has openly stated several times that Patriarch Bartholomew acted in Ukraine specifically because he knew he had the support of the U.S. and other powerful Western states.
The day after his visit to Kiev, Pompeo will travel to Minsk to meet with President Lukashenko “to underscore the U.S. commitment to a sovereign, independent, stable, and prosperous Belarus, and affirm our desire to normalize relations to move our bilateral relationship forward.”
From there, he will travel to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus, ending on January 7.