Last month the Russian Orthodox Church announced it would no longer participate in structures chaired by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, deepening the row over the Ukrainian Church's bid to break away from Moscow's orbit.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate has said it has no desire to be independent from Moscow.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was agreed to be independent of the Russian Orthodox Church during a meeting held at Fener Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul.
"We can't keep the contact with this church, who is in a situation of schism", he added.
The Russian Orthodox Church's three bishops in Germany have "temporarily" ceased work within the Orthodox Bishops Conference in Germany (OBKD), a spokesman for the bishops told Catholic KNA news agency on Tuesday.
Metropolitan Emmanuel of France told the media the Ukrainian church's independence request was approved. The patriarch - now Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople - has always been recognized as first among equals, with the authority to organize pan-Orthodox activities like global dialogue with the Catholics.
Russian politicians and church officials have repeatedly said they fear a Ukrainian church would seek to take over property controlled by the Moscow-affiliated Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine. The ecumenical patriarch reconstituted a church there over the wishes of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"The Finnish Orthodox Church is always ready for constructive dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church". Specifically, it promised to "defend the interests of the Orthodox in Ukraine" (Qha.com.ua, October 12), after which it expanded its criticism of the United States for this intra-Church development (Credo.press, October 12).
On October 11, a Synod meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople made a decision to "proceed with granting autocephaly (self-governance) to the Church of Ukraine". It will also demonstrate the extent to which Putin's actions have backfired by driving a wedge between Ukrainians and Russians.
President Poroshenko accuses the Kremlin of trying to foment a religious war, and he has warned that Russian agents could try to seize church property.
The Moscow Patriarchate, however, has denounced the Ukrainian church's recognition as provoking a split comparable to the so-called "Great Schism" of 1054, when Christianity separated into western and eastern churches.
The various Orthodox churches are already divided on the issue.
"Russia's use of culture in foreign policy is very important - the sense of identity, of being part of a bigger Orthodox world".
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has backed calls for an independent church, pledged October 14 that his government would guarantee "full respect of religious freedom for believers of all denominations".