The EU is targeting the head of the Russian Church with new sanctions – POLITICO

The European Commission on Wednesday targeted the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, as part of its sixth package of sanctions against Russia.

According to a European External Action Service document obtained by POLITICO, Kirill was “one of the most prominent supporters of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine” and a key figure in amplifying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric on Ukraine.

The commission highlighted a number of pro-war sermons and remarks by Kirill in the months since the deadly Russian invasion began in February – plus his blessing for Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

“Patriarch Kirill is therefore responsible for supporting or implementing any action or policy that undermines or threatens the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine,” the document said.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has long been an ally of Putin, a relationship that has caused a stir among other church leaders. in a (n interview published On Tuesday, the Pope of the Catholic Church said he had warned Kirill not to “turn into Putin’s acolyte”.

EU countries have yet to agree on the sanctions package, which includes sweeping restrictions on Russian oil, banks and broadcasters, before it comes into effect. The EU is targeting the head of the Russian Church with new sanctions – POLITICO

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