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Moscow Archbishop Accuses U.S. of ‘Direct Interference’ in Russian Elections

Moscow Archbishop Accuses U.S. of ‘Direct Interference’ in Russian Elections

In a curious role reversal, a leading prelate of the Russian Orthodox Church has accused the United States of “direct interference” in Russia’s elections by circulating the so-called “Kremlin list” prepared by the U.S. Treasury Department.

“Surely, it is direct pressure on Russian authorities and a wish to undermine the authorities.”

Metropolitan Hilarion said that the list exerts direct pressure on Russian authorities as well as the electorate, but its real influence may not be devastating.

The Russian Orthodox Church is not alone in believing that the U.S. Treasury published the Kremlin list with the intention of undermining support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In point of fact, however, while the list names senior political figures and business executives “as determined by their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth,” it requires no actual sanctions for those included and has been described as something closer to “public shaming.”

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