North Macedonia authorities ban ROC archimandrite from entering the country

18 September 2023 20:01
Archimandrite Vassian (Zmeyev). Photo: Archimandrite Vassian (Zmeyev). Photo:

In addition to the ban on entry into North Macedonia, the authorities expelled three Russian diplomats from the country.

On September 12, the authorities of North Macedonia banned Archimandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church Vassian (Zmeyev) from entering the country, according to the Balkan Observer Facebook page.

The North Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that in addition to the archimandrite, who was banned from entering the country, three more Russian diplomats were expelled.

As the report says, “this decision was made after receiving information from the competent authorities about actions committed by Russians that violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

Archimandrite Vassian is the rector of the Moscow Patriarchate metochion in Sofia (Bulgaria), who last year actively visited Macedonia and often met with Archbishop Stefan and the Macedonian metropolitans Gregory and Peter.

Local media claim that it was under the influence of Archimandrite Vassian that the Macedonian Orthodox Church refused to concelebrate with the OCU.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Macedonian Church refused to concelebrate with the OCU, and later the head of the Phanar met with the Prime Minister of North Macedonia to discuss “issues of mutual interest.”

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