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ReligionChristianityThe Russian Archimandrite Vasian (Zmeev) banned from entering North Macedonia?

The Russian Archimandrite Vasian (Zmeev) banned from entering North Macedonia?

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The chairman of the Russian church in Sofia, Archimandrite Vasian (Zmeev), has been banned from entering North Macedonia, several Macedonian publications report. The publications refer to sources from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to which three Russian diplomats will be expelled, and a Russian cleric has been banned from visiting North Macedonia.

According to the publication “Almakos”, which is the primary source of the information, these are the political advisers I. Khropiachkov, A. Rozhdestvenski, as well as the attache S. Popov. According to information from the competent authorities, these persons have carried out activities that contradict the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and in the next five days they will have to leave the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia. According to the publication, “other specialized security bodies have already expelled priest V. Zmey.” According to the publication Tatkovina, it is about the chairman of the Russian court in Sofia, Archimandrite Vasian (Zmeev).

The site “Religia.mk” writes that “unofficially, Zmeev coordinated the entire policy of the MOC-OA in relation to its church diplomacy in the last year, which led to a complete standstill in relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the issue of granting the autocephaly to the MOC-OA” .

North Macedonian media also reported that for the past year the chairman of the Russian church in Sofia has been traveling to Skopje every month. At the end of June, he also visited Kumanovo-Osogovo Metropolitan Grigoriy for St. Peter’s Day, accompanied by the Russian ambassador to North Macedonia. Metropolitan Grigoriy has the fame of the most zealous defender of Russian political interests in North Macedonia. During this visit, he presented an edition of his diocese against Patriarch Bartholomew. Two weeks earlier, North Macedonian Prime Minister Stevo Pendarovski announced that security services had received information from partner services that members of St. Synod of the MOC work in favor of the Russian secret services, but did not name specific names.

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