Estonian formin bans Patriarch Kirill from entering Estonia

  • 2023-06-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - On Friday, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna reimposed the Magnitsky list, which bans 58 people from entering Estonia, including the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill and nine people who persecuted and imprisoned human rights advocate Vladimir Kara-Murza. 

Tsahkna said the entry bans were imposed on these people because they are complicit in or accessories to grave human rights violations.

"Patriarch Kirill is one of the greatest adherents and proponents of Putin’s ideology," the foreign minister said. "It was about time he was blacklisted. He has justified and abetted the war against Ukraine.”

Tsahkna said that the people who support Russia's abhorrent acts in Ukraine are not welcome in Estonia. "I call on all countries to impose entry bans on all supporters and perpetrators of Russia's crimes."

As early as April last year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the role of Patriarch Kirill in Russia's war against Ukraine, and the NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers has appealed to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to hold Patriarch Kirill personally accountable for aiding, abetting and assisting the war against Ukraine.

Entry bans were also imposed on nine individuals who persecuted and imprisoned Kara-Murza and who are not yet subject to EU sanctions, and on individuals linked to the death of Sergei Magnitsky.

"It is Estonia’s position that the persecutors and imprisoners of Kara-Murza must be added to the global human rights sanctions regime," Tsahkna said. “We will continue to work towards the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners in Russia and holding the organizers of repressions to account."

The list was reviewed because the entry ban imposed with an order of the government of Estonia expired but there is no data indicating accountability for any of the individuals listed.

"We also updated the list of people who have committed or supported grave human rights violations who are not welcome in Estonia," Tsahkna said.