President Vladimir Putin‘s aide Vladislav Surkov has visited Mount Athos in Greece despite being on the European Union sanctions list, says a Time magazine report.
In late May, Surkov reportedly accompanied the Russian President and several prominent Russian politicians and priests to Mount Athos, a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians.
However, the Kremlin responded that the information on Surkov being in Greece, a EU member state, “does not correspond to reality.” Time magazine cites three different sources that back the allegation.
Surkov is on the EU sanctions list because he was involved in the organization of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014. He was consequently denied entry into the US and the EU.
According to the report, Surkov is the mind behind the throne, the architect of Russia’s authoritative regime. Yet, what is questioned is his relation to Orthodoxy. Nevertheless, the report cites that Father Makarios of Mount Athos confirmed that Surkov was there on May 27, two days prior to Putin’s arrival, introducing himself as a “high-ranking official of the Kremlin”.