Lithuania has banned Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill from entering the country because of his support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This information was confirmed to BNS on Wednesday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).
The cleric was put on the list of undesirables on June 23 and has not yet been publicly announced.
The decision was made after taking into account a proposal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the Interior Ministry, Patriarch Kyrill was put on the list because he consciously denies the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, justifies and supports Russia's aggressive actions that grossly violate the norms and principles of international law.
"Patriarch Kyrill, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, is one of the most active supporters of the war against Ukraine, who has repeatedly made publicly positive statements about Russia's ongoing aggression," the department said in a statement.
In Russian propaganda media, Patriarch Kyrill openly refers to the people of Ukraine as "a participant in the Nazi regime" who should be deported or destroyed. On February 27, 2022, Patriarch Kyrill blessed the Russian soldiers involved in the war against Ukraine and gave canonical justification for the war that was unleashed by Russia," the report says.
Patriarch Kirill will not be able to visit Lithuania until June 23, 2027.
In spring, Lithuania proposed to impose sanctions against Kyrill at the level of the European Union, but in June, during the approval of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, he was removed from the list at the initiative of Hungary.