Hungary holds up EU sanctions package over Patriarch Kirill-diplomats


  • World
  • Thursday, 02 Jun 2022

FILE PHOTO: Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducts a service to consecrate the renovated Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother of God in Rostov-on-Don, Russia October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Hungary was holding up the finalisation of the European Union's sanctions package against Russia on Wednesday, insisting on the removal of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill from the list of sanctioned individuals, three diplomats said.

European Union leaders agreed in principle earlier this week on a 6th sanctions package against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and EU government envoys were to turn that political agreement into a legal text on Wednesday so it can enter into force.

Crucially, the package includes a decision to ban purchases of all seaborn Russian oil and refined products six to eight months from the moment the package become law.

"Agreement is held up because Hungary is objecting to sanctions on Patriarch Kirill," one EU diplomat said. Two others confirmed this was the situation.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and John Chalmers; Editing by David Holmes)

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