Presidential decrees to award the representatives of the Orthodox Churches are stable and legitimate practice, MP of Ukraine, member of the parliamentary faction of the Party of Regions Volodymyr Makeyenko stated, UNN reported with reference to the press service of the party.

"I was surprised by some of the statements that say, rewarding the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and representatives of the Orthodox Churches on the occasion to the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus' is nonsense and somehow contrary to Ukrainian legislation," the deputy said.

He stressed that representatives of the Orthodox Church and other religious leaders of all faiths were awarded by Presidents of Ukraine - Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko. So Viktor Yanukovych only continued this practice, which has become a tradition, and there were not only Ukrainian, but also international shepherds of souls. 

It should be noted that Art. 16 Law of Ukraine "On State Awards of Ukraine" provides that deprivation state awards may be made by the President of Ukraine only in case of conviction for a serious crime on the proposal of the court.

He recalled some of the award: "If anyone says today that the Order of Yaroslav the Wise and degree award is" exclusively for foreign heads of state, not for the first clergy, "it is worth mentioning the Decree № 651 of the President Viktor Yushchenko on July 22, 2008, that it has awarded the Order of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. President personally handed him the award three days later, during the celebration of 1020 anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus. Patriarch Bartholomew I is not a citizen of Ukraine, but he deserves this award.

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