Two sources who have seen the full documents said the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is among the individuals to be included in the proposed sixth round of EU sanctions.
The sources said that the proposed draft was sent to the ambassadors for their review.
A source from the European Commission said that at this point, names could be deleted or added at the discretion of member states.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed a set of measures that would also include a Russian oil embargo.
In an interview this week, Pope Francis criticized Kirill for endorsing Russia’s stated reasons for invading Ukraine, and warned him against becoming one. “Putin’s Altar Boy”.
In response, the Russian Orthodox Church said Pope Francis used the “wrong tone” in describing his meeting with Patriarch Kirill and called the Pope’s comments “unfortunate”.
“Such statements do not contribute to the establishment of a constructive dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, which is especially necessary at this time,” the Russian Patriarchate’s Department of Foreign Relations said in a statement.
What does Russia say: Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Vladimir Leguida said Wednesday that the sanctions are not in line with “common sense,” according to the official Russian news agency TASS.
‘The most random [these] Punishments become, the more they lose touch with common sense and the more difficult it becomes to reach peace, which is what the Russian Orthodox Church prays for in every service with the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch, help all the affected Ukrainian. The conflict, only serves to confirm his words,” Leguida said in a Telegram post.
“Only those who are completely ignorant of the history of our church can seek to intimidate the clergy and its faithful by putting together some lists,” said Leguida.