Greek Consulate without explanation, denied the priests of the ROC visas
MOSCOW, Aug 7 — RIA Novosti. Several priests of the Russian Orthodox Church stated that they refused to grant Greek visas without explanation. They believe that this is due to complication of diplomatic relations between Russia and Greece.
“At the beginning of the year my family bought a tour. I wanted the kids to show Athos from the sea. And of course secretly had the desire to spend a couple of days on the Holy mountain. We applied for a Schengen visa for the whole family. I, mother and six children, one of them three years. The mother and children were immediately given a visa, but I received a waiver saying that there is no justification for the stay on the territory of Greece. Despite the fact that the ticket purchased and fully paid the tour”, — told RIA Novosti the rector of the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh on Khodynka field Archpriest Vasily biksey Oksana havrosh.
He explained that the documents filed at the Consulate of Greece twice, first through a tour operator, three and a half weeks ago, and then two and a half weeks ago. He noted that his case is not the first and he knows about similar stories of other priests — one of them is either not given a visa at all or with a delay.
On the same issue drew the attention of the former head of the Patriarchal press service, a famous religious writer, Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky. He sent a letter to the Ambassador of Greece in Russia Andreas Fryganas in which he outlined his story: “we visited Your beautiful country about 15 times — participated in scientific conferences, book fairs, palanichamy, rested, talked with close friends who we have personally invited. At this time, a few days after the delivery of documents I got a call from Consulate and asked me if I was the priest (in the bundle of documents there was a reference that I am the Abbot of the temple Martyr Tatiana, Moscow state University). I said so, and added that we were going to the island of Crete”.
According to him, on may 25 at the visa application centre and his family received passports with visas — “my wife gave three years to me, but only for a month.”
I asked the girl that we gave out passports. The girl said nothing you have written that you are a priest — if he wrote that retired, it would give for three years.Vladimir Vigilyansky Church writer FR
There the priest said that the letter remained unanswered. “Many of the Russian clergy responded in the comments, what with them over the past six months happened the same story — gave a visa for a week, two weeks, maximum month,” — said Vigilyansky.
A diplomatic scandal
In July, Greece has accused Russia of trying to undermine its national security and expelled two Russian diplomats. Two other employees, was denied entry into the country. The official in the Greek government told RIA Novosti that the expulsion of diplomats was a “specific incident” and not linked to the relations between the two countries.
The Russian foreign Ministry has promised mirrored to respond to the expulsion of diplomats. The Ministry stressed that such a reaction to such actions is the current practice.
In turn, the Ambassador of Russia to Greece Andrey Maslov has denied accusations by Athens that the Russian diplomats allegedly involved in illegal actions.