Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is among those who will be included in the proposed sixth round of EU sanctions, according to two sources close to the documents.
Sources said that the proposed draft has been sent to the concerned ambassadors for review.
At this stage, names can be removed or added at the discretion of the member states, a source in the EU Commission said.
On Wednesday, European Commission President Arsula van der Leyen proposed measures, including a ban on Russian oil.
In an interview this week, Pope Francis criticized Kirill for endorsing Russia’s stated reasons for invading Ukraine, and warned him not to invade Ukraine. “Putin’s altar boy.”
In response, the Russian Orthodox Church said that Pope Francis used “incorrect tone” in the nature of his meeting with Patriarch Carroll and called the pope’s remarks “regrettable.”
“Such announcements are not conducive to establishing a constructive dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, which is especially important at this time,” the Russian-sponsored Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
What Russia is saying: Vladimir Legoida, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, said on Wednesday that the sanctions were “out of the ordinary,” according to Russia’s state news agency TASS.
“More blindly [these] Restrictions are made, the more they lose their sanity and the harder it is to reach peace, for which the Russian Orthodox Church prays with the blessing of His Holiness in every service, and of all those affected by Ukraine. Helps Controversy only serves to confirm his words, “Legoida said in a telegram post.
“Only those who are completely unfamiliar with the history of our church can compile some lists and try to intimidate its pastors and believers,” Legoida said.