Hungary holds up EU sanctions package over Patriarch Kirill: Diplomats

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Hungary was holding up the finalization 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.

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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.

Read more: Analysis: US gamble on China over Ukraine raises tensions with rival superpower

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