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Zelensky enacts NSDC decision to sanction Moscow Patriarchate.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council "On certain aspects of the activity of religious organizations in Ukraine and the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)."

The decree to that effect, dated December 1, 2022, has been published on the website of the head of state, Ukrinform reports.

The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the NSDC decision.

The decree enters into force from the day of its publication.

According to the decision, the NSDC gave the Cabinet of Ministers two months to table in the Verkhovna Rada a bill on making it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with Russian centers of influence to operate in Ukraine, in accordance with the norms of international law in the area of freedom of conscience and Ukraine's obligations in connection with its accession to the Council of Europe.

The government was also tasked with immediately resolving the issue of including the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience in the list of central executive government agencies whose activities are run and coordinated directly by the Cabinet of Ministers.

In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers must ensure, within a two-month period, verification of the existence of legal grounds and compliance with the conditions of use by religious organizations of the property located at the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve.

At the same time, the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience has been instructed to ensure, in accordance with the Law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations," that a religious examination is conducted within a two-month period of the Statute on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the presence of an ecclesiastical-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, take the measures provided for by law.

The Security Service of Ukraine, along with the National Police and other state bodies whose competence includes issues in the area of ensuring national security, has been tasked with intensifying measures to detect and counter the subversive activities of the Russian special services in the religious environment of Ukraine.

The National Security and Defense Council also supported the SBU's proposals regarding the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions).

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

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