North Macedonia has banned the head of the Metochion of the Russian Orthodox Church in Sofia, Archimandrite Vasian Zmeev, from entering the country, Skopje media report.
According to the media of the neighboring country, the Russian clergyman has been coordinating all the policies of the Orthodox Church of North Macedonia with regard to its ecclesiastical diplomacy. This led to a complete stagnation in its relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding the full recognition of its autocephaly.
President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski in a recent interview revealed that, according to reports, some Metropolitans of the Ohrid Archdiocese have been cooperating with the Russian security services.
It is worth mentioning that in May 2022 the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized and accepted in ecclesiastical communion the Ohrid Archdiocese on the condition that any reference to the term “Macedonia” must be avoided. But this decision did not mean that autocephaly would be granted to the church.
It is recalled that yesterday, Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia announced the expulsion of three Russian diplomats who are accused of violating diplomatic rules. This increased to 14 the number of staff members of the Russian Embassy in Skopje who have been expelled since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.