In the 1990s, the current head of the ROC, and then Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, "won the position and made a fortune," which allowed him to "finally take the patriarchal throne." Prior to the entry on this throne personal fortune was estimated by some experts Cyril $ 4 billion.
One source of income was the "cigarette business." In 1993, with the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate had financial and trading group "Nick", the vice-president was Archpriest Vladimir Veriga — Commercial Director DECR, led by Metropolitan Kirill.
A year later, the Russian Government and DECR there were two "parallel" Commission Humanitarian Aid: First decide what help can be exempt from taxes and excise taxes, and the second — the importation of this help line on church and sold to commercial firms. Thus, much of the aid, a tax-exempt, distributed through normal commercial network, at normal market prices.
In addition to the fund "Nick" DECR in 1990 was the founder of the commercial bank "Relight", JSC "International economic cooperation" (MEA), JSC "free people's TV" (NTS), and a number of other structures. The most profitable business head DECR after 1996 became the export of oil through the MEA, released at the request of Alexy II of customs duties. Metropolitan Kirill MEA represented Bishop Victor (Pyankov), now living as a private citizen in the U.S.. Annual turnover in 1997 was about $ 2 billion.