Sources: Hungary blocks EU’s latest sanctions, requesting no sanctions for Patriarch Kirill

Hungary has blocked the latest European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions, requesting sanctions to not be applied to Russian Christian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, as DPA was informed by sources in diplomatic circles.
According to sources, Hungary voiced objections during Wednesday’s meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels. During this meeting it was planned to finish the development of new sanctions.
Kirill, who is considered by many to be a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has voiced support of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Despite condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban is known for his friendly relations with Putin.

When the European Commission initiated the sixth package of sanctions, Hungary objected to the addition of Patriarch Kirill to the list of persons under sanctions.

The topic of sanctions against Patriarch Kirill was not discussed at the Monday, 31 May, meeting of the EU summit.
Sources in the diplomatic circles say that at the Wednesday’s meeting it was not possible to find a solution due to objections from Hungary. It is planned to discuss this topic again during this Thursday’s meeting of ministers in Luxembourg.
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As previously reported, at this Monday’s EU summit in Brussels an agreement was reached on the sixth package of sanctions, which provide for banning imports of Russian oil by sea. Imports of Russian oil through pipelines were not touched also because of Hungary’s objections. New sanctions provide for disconnecting Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank from SWIFT, blocking content from three Russian state broadcasters, as well as expanding the list of persons under sanctions with new faces.