The Government pays special attention to issues of state policy in the sector of religion. This was emphasized by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during a meeting with representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO). The meeting was also attended by Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Health Viktor Liashko, Minister for Communities and Territories Development Oleksii Chernyshov, representatives of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Social Policy.
Denys Shmyhal thanked the representatives of religious organizations for their constructive position in promoting the process of vaccination against COVID-19.
"Your own example of vaccination and the opening of vaccination points at religious organizations gave a good impetus to the process as a whole. We expect to vaccinate the majority of the adult population by the end of the year. It will definitely save many lives," the PM said.
Answering the questions of the representatives of the UCCRO, the Head of Government noted that active work is underway to preserve the units within the regional state administrations that implement the state policy in the field of religion. According to the Prime Minister, the main problem is the lack of staff. He called on the UCCRO to provide proposals for a comprehensive solution to this issue.
Moreover, Denys Shmyhal drew attention to the adoption by the Parliament of the Law "On the Military Chaplaincy Service", which had long been awaited by the religious community.
"This law will finally regulate relations in the field of exercising the constitutional right to freedom of thought and religion of our servicemen, defining the legal and organizational principles and principles of the Military Chaplaincy Service," stressed the Head of Government.
Regarding natural gas tariffs, the Prime Minister noted that the gas supply company Naftogaz had set a price for religious organizations at UAH 16.55 per cubic meter (including VAT and fees for gas transportation through main networks).
"The price will remain unchanged throughout the heating season. To date, 1,225 such agreements have been concluded. Therefore, religious structures should be more actively involved in the process of concluding relevant agreements," the Head of Government noted.
Denys Shmyhal said that at the initiative of the President of Ukraine next year the program Large Thermal Modernization would be launched, thus minimizing heat loss during its supply and, accordingly, significantly reducing utility bills.
For their part, the representatives of the UCCRO thanked the Prime Minister and the Government for their attention to resolving topical issues and constructive cooperation.