By Efi Efthimiou
Archbishop Yevstratiy of Cherniyiv and Nizin expressed the need to impose international (and Ukrainian) sanctions on the head of the Russian Church, as accomplices in the war that Russia started in Ukraine.
According to a post on social media, Archbishop Yevstratiy of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine stated that “four members of the Russian Orthodox Church are as guilty as Russian ministers, propagandists and Putin’s oligarchs who have already been included in the list of sanctions.”
In particular, he named Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Fr. Nikolaos Balasov, and Metropolitan Tikhon Pskov and Porkhov.
The Archbishop of the Church of Ukraine characteristically stated that the above persons “must be included in the international and Ukrainian sanctions list, as active members of the Kremlin regime, responsible for planning, executing and facilitating the war against Ukraine”.
He underlined that the four Hierarchs of the Russian Church are “the main supporters of the idea of the “Russian world”, a neo-imperialist plan that created the ideological background of Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
He continued: “Hilarion Alfeyev and Nikolay Balasov are “diplomats “of the Russian Orthodox Church, who, in close cooperation and coordination with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and security services, pursue foreign policy by promoting the ideology of the”Russian world”.
Archbishop Yevstratiy pointed out that (Metropolitan) Tikhon and (Patriarch) Kirill, publicly (during sermons and statements), supported the invasion of Ukraine.
Hilarion, “On the eve of the invasion, was instructed by Putin and assured the Russian president of the full support of the Department of External Church Relations. Fr. Nikolai Balasov is known as the long-term overseer of the foreign policy of the Russian Church in Ukraine.
“All the above-mentioned individuals, due to their positions and the system that has been created in Russia between the state and the Church, undoubtedly maintain constant contact with the Russian special services, with government officials and with the presidential administration of the Russian Federation,” concluded the Archbishop of Cherniyif.