Lithuania bans entry to the country of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church
Patriarch Kirill was added to the list of unwanted persons on June 23, but so far, this has not been publicly reported. The decision was made taking into account the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the interior ministry, Patriarch Kirill is included in the list for deliberately denying Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. It also justifies and supports Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, which grossly violates the norms and principles of international law.
"Patriarch Kirill, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, is one of the most active supporters of Russia's full–scale war against Ukraine, who has repeatedly publicly spoken positively about the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.
In addition, Patriarch Kirill openly calls the Ukrainian people “members of the Nazi regime” in Russian propaganda media, who should be deported or destroyed.
”On February 27, 2022, Patriarch Kirill blessed the Russian soldiers participating in the war against Ukraine and gave canonical justification for the war waged by Russia, " the report says. Therefore, Patriarch Kirill will not be able to visit Lithuania until June 23, 2027.
In the spring, Lithuania proposed to impose sanctions against Kirill at the level of the European Union, but in June, during the approval of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, he was excluded from the list at the initiative of Hungary.