Bishop stripped of citizenship for 'anti-Kiev activities'


Kiev (AFP)

Ukraine on Thursday said it had expelled an Orthodox bishop and stripped him of his citizenship little over a week after he met with US lawmakers.

Ukraine's authorities said the Ukrainian-born Gedeon, 58, who also holds US and Russian passports, had arrived in Kiev from Frankfurt and was put on a return flight to Germany.

He has been banned from entering Ukraine for three years because of "anti-Ukrainian activities," said Ukrainian Security Services (SBU) spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska, without elaborating.

Ukraine's migration service said Gedeon, who is father superior at a renowned monastery in Kiev, gave false information about his other nationalities when he applied for his Ukrainian passport, which was annulled last June.

Gedeon, who was born in Odessa, a Ukrainian port city on the Black Sea, was a clergyman in the Russian Orthodox Church prior to 1999 both in Russia and in the United States.

In a video comment posted on Facebook, Gedeon alleged that his deportation was sparked by comments he made during a February 5 meeting with US lawmakers charging that his Church faced discrimination in Ukraine.