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Head of Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia to be expelled for justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine

The Estonian authorities have decided against renewing the residence permit for the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia, Metropolitan Eugene (secular name Valery Reshetnikov). The bishop, who is a Russian national, is to leave the country before Feb. 6, when his current residence permit expires, Delfi writes, citing Estonia’s Police and Border Guard Board.

According to the publication, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reached out to the metropolitan many times, strongly advising him to stop publicly justifying Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but to no avail. Eventually, the Estonian authorities categorized the priest as a foreign citizen threatening the country's national security. Reshetnikov has been living in Estonia for four years.

“According to the Estonian Internal Security Service, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus has been consistently justifying and abetting the bloody aggression unleashed by the Kremlin regime against Ukraine. The activities of both Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Eugene contributed to spreading and encouraging Russia's security policy in Estonia,” said Indrek Aru, the head of the Border Guard Bureau in the Pohja Prefecture. The officer underlined that the decision concerned Metropolitan Eugene alone and had no bearing on the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate or the believers.

On Jan. 16, it became known that the Estonian authorities had detained Russian national Viacheslav Morozov, professor at the University of Tartu, on suspicion of cooperating with Russian special services.

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