On November 20, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met with the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO). Representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine also took part in the meeting.
The Prime Minister stressed that the Government seeks to be a partner for all religious communities. He thanked for the invitation to take part in the regular meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and stressed that this practice should be prolonged in the future.
The participants of the event discussed a wide range of issues. In particular, on the unimpeded import of humanitarian goods, the problem of refugees, the issue of chaplaincy, as well as the provision of charity assistance. Denys Shmyhal also raised the issue of combating the spread of COVID-19 and called on religious communities to join forces during the winter holidays.
"Now we are approaching important winter religious holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, St. Nicholas, Epiphany and more. Large crowds can gather during the celebrations. Therefore, we need to take joint measures to minimize the number of people who contracted the coronavirus disease," said the Prime Minister.
Denys Shmyhal thanked the UCCRO for the proposal to create working groups to work out joint steps: "The Government and the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations have shown effective cooperation in the spring. I am confident that this approach will be continued, and it will yield results in the future, because all these actions are aimed to benefit the society," the Prime Minister stressed.
Deputy Minister of Health - Chief State Sanitary Doctor Viktor Liashko, for his part, noted that the introduced weekend quarantine is intended to reduce the mobility of the population.
"These six days of reduced mobility will lead to a reduction in the percentage of infection and this will change the growth rate of coronavirus disease, thereby allowing us to model the event during the winter holidays and the approach to curbing the spread of the disease," said Viktor Liashko.
The Chief State Sanitary Doctor added that in the future the Ministry of Health is ready to consider the norm that was in effect before, regarding the restrictions on the number of people in temples per square meter of building area.
The Prime Minister thanked the representatives of religious organizations for understanding and supporting the introduced by the state temporary quarantine restrictions. He also noted that the Government is developing mechanisms to support religious organizations and is ready to jointly develop proposals.
"We all understand - we are facing a number of challenges and objectives. And the main way to solve them is, of course, a comprehensive dialogue between the state and the religious community, including between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations," said the Prime Minister.