The Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs declared the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church persona non grata. Before that, the head of the Lithuanian Orthodox Church told Kirill in Moscow that he condemned the war and the actions of the Russian Federation.
The Lithuanian authorities banned the entry of Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev) because of his support for a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. On Wednesday, July 27, LRT reported with reference to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Lithuania.
According to journalists, Patriarch Kirill was included in the list of undesirable persons on June 23, taking into account the proposal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The department indicated that the clergyman was included in the list of persona non grata due to the fact that he denies the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and also justifies and supports Russian aggression.
“Patriarch Kirill, Vladimir Putin's closest ally, is one of the most active supporters of the war against Ukraine… (He) openly calls the people of Ukraine “participants of the Nazi regime” who should be deported or destroyed,” the Interior Ministry said.
In addition, the ministry noted that 27 February, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church blessed the Russian soldiers participating in a full-scale war and “gave a canonical justification” for the armed aggression of the Russian Federation.
In July this year, Bishop of the Lithuanian Orthodox Church (LTC) Ambrose visited Patriarch Kirill in Moscow. He stated that he had enlisted support in the issue of achieving greater independence from the Moscow Patriarchate. The clergyman also conveyed to the Moscow Patriarch that the leaders of the LPTs condemn the actions of the Russian Federation and the war.