Ukraine implements sanctions against Russian Patriarch


Eastern Europe


Patriarch Kirill. Photo AFP, Mladen Antonov

The Ukrainian Parliament has decided to impose sanctions on the Russian Patriarch Kirill. In total, 292 MPs voted in favour of the motion that will affect the Patriarch and seven other Russian clergymen.

That was reported by Risu.ua based on a Facebook post of MP Oleksiy Goncharenko. The sanctions will be valid for ten years.

Clergymen not allowed to travel to Ukraine

Other affected clergymen include Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Tikhon, Chairman of the Patriarchal Council for Culture.

The restrictions will be imposed by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. That is reported by Interfax. According to the bill's authors, there has been found much evidence to prove that the sanctioned people have been engaged in illegal activities. The sanctions include the blocking of assets, trade restrictions and travel bans.

Earlier sanctions

It is not the first time the Ukrainian government has taken measures against Russian clergymen. In 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion was refused entry into the country. Furthermore, Patriarch Kirill was declared to be "unwelcome" in 2013 due to the political tensions between Russia and Ukraine at the time.

Kirill removed from EU sanction list

The European Union, on the other hand, removed Patriarch Kirill from the list of sanctions. The member states did so because of pressure from the Hungarian government. That is reported by the Dutch newspaper NRC. According to the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, Kirill cannot be sanctioned, because doing so would violate his freedom of religion.



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