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Kim Jong-un gets what he wants: the Russian-Chinese joint statement on Korean conflict (full text and analysis)

Joint Russian-Chinese statement on Korean conflict recognises North Korea’s ‘justified concerns’, opposes military action, and effectively rules out across-the-board sanctions.

Alexander Mercouris

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has now published the complete text of the Russian-Chinese joint statement on the Korean conflict.

Since this document is not easy to find, I set out the full text with the key points highlighted

The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are the Korean Peninsula’s neighbours, therefore the development of the situation in the region concerns the national interests of both countries. Russia and China will closely coordinate their efforts in order to promote a complex solution to the Korean Peninsula’s problems, including that of the nuclear issue, for the sake of achieving a lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. In the spirit of strategic cooperation the foreign ministries of Russia and China (hereinafter referred to as Parties) state the following:

1. The Parties are seriously worried by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s statement of July 4, 2017 about a ballistic missile launch and consider this statement unacceptable and in disharmony with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

2. The Parties express serious concern about the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and around it. Mounting political and military tension in that region, fraught with the eruption of an armed conflict, are calling on the international community to adopt collective measures to settle the situation peacefully through dialogue and consultations. The Parties oppose any statements or moves that might escalate tension or aggravate the contradictions and urge all countries concerned to maintain calm, renounce provocative moves or bellicose rhetoric, demonstrate readiness for dialogue without preconditions and work actively together to defuse tension.

3.The Parties are putting forward a joint initiative, which is based on the Chinese-proposed ideas of “double freezing” (missile and nuclear activities by the DPRK and large-scale joint exercises by the United States and the Republic of Korea) and “parallel advancement” towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the creation of peace mechanisms on the peninsula, and the Russian-proposed stage-by-stage Korean settlement plan.

The Parties propose the following:

The DPRK, by way of a voluntary political decision, announces a moratorium on the testing of nuclear explosive devices and ballistic missile tests, and the United States and the Republic of Korea should, accordingly, refrain from large-scale joint exercises. Simultaneously, the conflicting parties begin talks and assert common principles of their relations, including the non-use of force, the renunciation of aggression, peaceful coexistence and determination to do all they can to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula with a view to promoting a complex resolution of all problems, including the nuclear issue. During the negotiating process, all parties concerned push forward, in a format suitable to them, the creation on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia of a peace and security mechanism and consequently normalise relations between the countries in question.

The Parties urge the international community to support the aforementioned initiative that paves the real way for resolving the Korean Peninsula’s problems.

4.The Parties are resolutely committed to the international non-proliferation regime and are firmly aimed at the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and a comprehensive and full implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The Parties intend, jointly with other parties concerned, to continue making efforts to facilitate the balanced removal of the existing concerns via dialogue and consultations.

The Parties confirm that the DPRK’s justified concerns should be respected. Other states must make relevant efforts to have talks resumed and jointly to create an atmosphere of peacefulness and mutual trust.

The Parties are calling on all parties involved to comply with the commitments formulated in the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, and to re-launch, as soon as possible, the dialogue on the comprehensive resolution of problems on the Korean Peninsula. Any possibility of using military means to solve the problems of the Korean Peninsula should be ruled out.

5. The Parties express support for the North and the South of the Korean Peninsula to conduct dialogue and consultations, display benevolence towards each other, improve relations, cooperate in the matter of a peaceful settlement, and play a due role in defusing the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in resolving its problems in a proper manner.

6. The Parties confirm that they are paying sufficient attention to the maintenance of the international and regional balance and stability, and emphasise that allied relations between separate states should not inflict damage on the interests of third parties. They are against any military presence of extra-regional forces in Northeast Asia and its build-up under the pretext of counteracting the DPRK’s missile and nuclear programmes.

The Parties confirm that the deployment of THAAD antimissile systems in Northeast Asia is inflicting serious damage on strategic security interests of regional states, including Russia and China, and does nothing to help achieve the aims of the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearisation, nor to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Russia and China are against the deployment of the said systems, call on the relevant countries to immediately stop and cancel the deployment process, and have agreed to adopt the necessary measures to protect the two countries’ security interests and to ensure a strategic balance in the region.

This statement was signed on July 4, 2017, in Moscow.

 

For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs             For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

         of the Russian Federation                       of the People’s Republic of China

(bold italics added)

The key points to take away from this statement are the following

(1) The Russians and the Chinese are coordinating their positions on the Korean issue “in the spirit of their strategic cooperation” (ie. their alliance).  What this means in effect is that China can count on Russia’s support in its dealings with the US on the Korean issue.

(2) The Russians and the Chinese accept that North Korea has justified security concerns and consider that these should be respected.  In other words they both oppose regime change in North Korea.

(3) The Russians and the Chinese categorically oppose any US military action against North Korea.  The Russians support the Chinese initiative whereby

(i) North Korea freezes its nuclear testing and ballistic missile programme;

(ii) the US and South Korea cease further joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula;

(iii) the US and North Korea, and North Korea and South Korea commence direct talks with each other aimed at a comprehensive settlement of the conflict on the Korean Peninsula (“the comprehensive resolution of problems on the Korean Peninsula”).

(3) The Russians and the Chinese consider the US’s deployment of THAAD on the Korean Peninsula destabilising and a threat to the international balance of power.

In comments today Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov – unquestionably expressing the joint view of the Russian and Chinese governments – explicitly rejected the idea of regime change in North Korea or of seeking to suffocate North Korea by imposing across the board sanctions upon it.

“For Russia and China, it is absolutely clear that any attempts to justify a belligerent solution, using the UN Security Council’s resolutions as a pretext, are unacceptable and will lead to unpredicted consequences in the region, which neighbours Russia and China,” Lavrov said, noting that the attempts of “strangling” North Korea’s economy are unacceptable.

The task set by the UN Security Council is to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and it should not be used as an attempt to change the regime in North Korea, Lavrov said. “We assume that the task that has been set by the UN Security Council is to denuclearize the whole Korean Peninsula, and it cannot and should not be used as a pretext to try and change the regime in North Korea,” he said

(bold italics added)

Right at the start of this latest twist in the North Korean crisis I predicted that China would refuse the Trump administration’s request for comprehensive across-the-board sanctions on North Korea, and that the Trump administration’s threats against North Korea would simply harden China’s support for North Korea.

To the extent that it is possible to see a strategy behind the latest US moves, it seems to be to frighten the Chinese into abandoning North Korea by threatening them with a war in the Korean Peninsula if they don’t, with a big trade deal thrown in as a sweetener.

This is the sort of approach that might make sense in the cut-and-thrust US property industry which Donald Trump knows.  However the trouble with this frankly amateur approach is that it gravely underestimates the strength of feeling in China.

Whilst it is doubtful that most Chinese think or care much about North Korea, the Chinese leadership would face a severe internal crisis if it appeared to back down in the face of US threats.  An actual or pending US attack on North Korea would therefore be far more likely to strengthen Chinese support for North Korea than to weaken it.

(bold italics added)

So it has proved.  The Chinese response to the latest North Korea missile launch is not to threaten North Korea but to warn the US against military action whilst ruling out across-the-board sanctions and regime change.  Moreover China – contrary to its previous practice and its probable wishes – has been driven to state this clearly and in public, and has enlisted Russia’s support.

Kim Jong-un will no doubt go through the motions of rejecting China’s proposal.  He can do so in the confident knowledge that there will be no penalty since the US will reject it also.  In the meantime he has pocketed assurances from China and Russia that they will not impose across-the-board economic sanctions on his country.

Privately he must be delighted with the way things are turning out.

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AMHants
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AMHants

Nice one, because China is fully aware that the FSMDS is aimed at China and not North Korea. The same as the European FSMDS are aimed at Russia and not Iran.

All sorted before the G20 summit, now that has taken the wind out of some nations sails!

Simon
Guest
Simon

I watched some of the US Presidential Security Briefing on NK (ie Fox News) and unfortunately ALL the ‘experts’, some only in their late 20s/early30s, simply dismissed out of hand anything proposed by Russia-China without reading it or discussing it.
So I’m afraid adult proposals by VERY serious players are just not welcome in the US halls of power.

AMHants
Guest
AMHants

I feel sorry for the people of America as they have no idea what is around the corner. No doubt those that were discussing it, have just come out of Uni and handed back their therapy puppies, crayons, play-doh and colouring books. Legends in their own egos with a lot of growing up to do.

Neil
Guest
Neil

That is real ’empire in decline’ delusion right there.

Tommy Jensen
Guest
Tommy Jensen

You are right.
Many in West are living in complete denial due to the media manipulation techniques and campaigns. They refuse reality because it threatens their position in the group thinking.
I met well educated people in high positions who deny any evaluation of facts and contact with other media than the establishments.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Hasn’t crazy federation US launched not so long ago a Bill that FORBIDS to make a peace agreement with the Russian Federation?
How insane do I have to be to be against living in peace?
If true … US of America has been abended by even their God.

Shahna
Guest

:-))

collette.robert@yahoo.com
Guest

The little fella may be tougher than he looks. His arms look like my legs (really ladies). But can he go to the left? I understand he has one of those crazy full body tattoos that masochists get in Nihon. The Yakuza is going to be pissed when they find out tattoos are out this year. Maybe back in a few. Bring the pain bitches! Ruby laser

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch
Guest
Nationalist Globalist Oligarch

Why do the Russians and Chinese label the government of North Korea a “regime”?
We don’t speak of Merkel’s regime or Trump’s regime.

“Regime” is a word the West uses to delegitimize a Nations government by implying it is imposed against the peoples will.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

From Russian into English;
From Chinese into English;
It could have been the interpretation of the language by the translators?

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch
Guest
Nationalist Globalist Oligarch

Strange choice none the less.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Really good journalism, Alexander!

Enrico
Guest
Enrico

Bet Trump is too stupid to know that he has already lost, and the best he can do is not “lose face”.

Strayhorse
Guest
Strayhorse

This American believes that Russia and China need to reel in their neighbor North Korea, and the United States needs to afford these major regional powers the full license to do so. North Korea’s continued antagonism and swagger regarding their ability to destroy America is NOT ACCEPTABLE! The United States could have destroyed North Korea long ago a hundred times over, and did not. Why? Because America DID want to provide for a more peaceful solution. But, North Korea continues to antagonize more formidable nations to what intent? To brag, swagger, declare a level of authority it cannot sustain. Feed… Read more »

lickeyleaks
Guest
lickeyleaks

I suppose if you condensed the above statement from Russia & China,it would read,Fuck of yanks,go home,this is our neck of the woods and we will sort it,, bloody right too..

seby
Guest
seby

This will make the handshakes and no handshakes interesting at G20 🙂

I’m pretty certain bush the III will make a total dick of himself.

richardstevenhack
Guest
richardstevenhack

So what did Washington do today? A general said the only reason the US hasn’t attacked North Korea – yet – is because the US hasn’t gotten around to deciding to do so. So much for “not issuing aggressive statements”… Meanwhile, the US press blows up the NK ICBM test of a missile that MIGHT be able to reach…Alaska – if fired on a sufficiently horizontal trajectory – with Alaska STILL 1,500 miles away from the rest of the US. To be blunt: who gives a rat’s ass – except Alaskans (and of course the Alaska pipeline)? North Korea will… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

And the NK people are also hoping all these US atomic subs WITH loaded nuclear missiles as well will launch nukes just for the sake of “launching”, direction their homes! Terrible, for both parties and the world!
US is not serving its client states of the United States of America.
She is as usual interfering in other countries their affairs. And especially NK for more than seventy years!
Can you imagine to live under pressure to be wiped out from this earth by US ever day, for seveny years?

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

one look at your ref. to an “antiwar’ site and my shackles rose: what’s the bet that is ANOTHER SOROS

fake-ngo, bleeding money from citizens around the globe who fall for their propaganda (I know, I got sucked in way back).

Tommy Jensen
Guest
Tommy Jensen

Kim controle Xi and Putin.
Kim could easily turn up to be election hacker behind the curtains that nobody thought of. If Kim controle Xi and Putin, he also controles Trump and America.
Do you understand now why many are whispering nukes in the corners because of the 1´st Amendment, our democracy values and freedom :-D?

Mr Misanthropic
Guest
Mr Misanthropic

makes more sense than more US war,let this be decided by the people who live there and that is not USA

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Nigel Farage lashes out at Angela Merkel, as Chancellor attends EU Parliament debate (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 17.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Nigel Farage’s blistering speech, aimed squarely at Angela Merkel, calling out the German Chancellor’s disastrous migrant policy, wish to build an EU army, and Brussels’ Cold War rhetoric with Russia to the East and now the United States to the West.

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The Ukrainian President Signs a Pact With Constantinople – Against the Ukrainian Church

There is still a chance to prevent the schism from occurring.

Dmitry Babich

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Authored by Dmitry Babich via Strategic Culture:


Increasingly tragic and violent events are taking their toll on the plight of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine . After several fights over control of the church’s property, prohibitions and blacklists are starting to spread, affecting respected church figures coming from Russia to Ukraine. The latest news is that the head of the Moscow Theological Academy, Archbishop Amvrosyi Yermakov, was deported from Ukraine back to Russia. Amvrosyi’s name popped up on the black list of Russian citizens who are not deemed “eligible to visit” Ukraine. Obviously, this happened right before his plane landed in Zhulyany, Kiev’s international airport. After a brief arrest, Amvrosyi was put on a plane and sent back to Moscow. This is not the first such humiliation of the Orthodox Church and its priests that has taken place since the new pro-Western regime came to power in Kiev in 2014. Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has been declared persona non grata throughout Ukraine since 2014. That decision was made by humiliatingly low-level officials. A department within the Ukrainian ministry of culture published a ruling stating that Kirill’s visit to Ukraine’s capital of Kiev “would not be desirable.”

Since the ancestors of modern Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians were first baptized in 988 in Kiev, the Patriarchs of the Russian Church have never had problems visiting Kiev, the birthplace of their church. Not even under the Bolsheviks did such prohibitions exist. So, for Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church to be denied permission to visit Kiev can only be compared to a possible prohibition against the pope visiting Rome. Since 2014, there have also been several criminal cases filed against the priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC MP) because they have called the hostilities in eastern Ukraine a “civil war” and have discouraged the faithful from supporting that war. This has been interpreted by the Ukrainian state authorities as a call for soldiers to desert the army.

Why Poroshenko’s meeting with Bartholomew is ominous

Despite the fact that the UOC MP has become used to all sorts of trouble since 2014, things have been looking even worse for the canonical church lately, as 2018 draws to a close. In early November 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko broke the wall of separation between church and state in the most overt manner possible — he signed “an agreement on cooperation and joint action” between Ukraine and the so called Constantinople Patriarchate, the oldest institution of Orthodox Christianity, which is now based in Turkish Istanbul.

Rostislav Pavlenko, an aide to Poroshenko, wrote on his Facebook page that the agreement (not yet published) is premised on the creation of a new “autocephalous” Orthodox Church of Ukraine — a development that the official, existing Orthodox Churches in Russia and Ukraine view with foreboding as a “schism” that they have done all they can to prevent. Why? Because Poroshenko’s regime, which came to power via a violent coup in Kiev in 2014 on a wave of public anti-Russian sentiment, may try to force the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine to merge with other, non-canonical institutions and to surrender to them church buildings, including the famous monasteries in Kiev and Pochai, as well as other property.

President Poroshenko was visibly happy to sign the document — the contents of which have not yet been made public — on cooperation between the Ukrainian state and the Constantinople Patriarchate, in the office of Bartholomew, the head of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Poroshenko smiled and laughed, obviously rejoicing over the fact that the Constantinople Patriarchate is already embroiled in a scandalous rift with the Russian Orthodox Church and its Ukrainian sister church over several of Bartholomew’s recent moves. Bartholomew’s decision to “lift” the excommunication from two of Ukraine’s most prominent schismatic “priests,” in addition to Bartholomew’s declaration that the new church of Ukraine will be under Constantinople’s direct command — these moves were just not acceptable for the canonical Orthodox believers in Russia and Ukraine. Kirill, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), as well as Onufriy, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, are protesting loudly, viewing this situation as a breach of two basic principles. First of all, the Ukrainian state has interfered in the church’s affairs, asking Constantinople to give the Ukrainian church “autocephaly,” which that church never requested. Second, Constantinople itself has interfered in the affairs of two autonomous national churches, the Russian and the Ukrainian. In the eyes of Ukrainian and Russian clergy, Bartholomew is behaving like the Roman pope and not as a true Orthodox leader who respects the autonomy and self-rule of the separate, national Orthodox Churches.

The Russian President sympathizes with the believers’ pain

Two days before Poroshenko made his trip to Istanbul, Russian president Vladimir Putin broke with his usual reserve when commenting on faith issues to bitterly complain about the pain which believers in Russia and Ukraine have experienced from the recent divisions within the triangle of Orthodoxy’s three historic capitals — Constantinople, Kiev, and Moscow.

“Politicking in such a sensitive area as religion has always had grave consequences, first and foremost for the people who engaged in this politicking,” Putin said, addressing the World Congress of Russian Compatriots, an international organization that unites millions of ethnic and cultural Russians from various countries, including Ukraine. Himself a practicing Orthodox believer, Putin lauded Islam and Judaism, while at the same time complaining about the plight of Orthodox believers in Ukraine, where people of Orthodox heritage make up more than 80% of the population and where the church has traditionally acted as a powerful “spiritual link” with Russia.

Despite his complaints about “politicking,” Putin was careful not to go into the details of why exactly the state of affairs in Ukraine is so painful for Orthodox believers. That situation was explained by Patriarch Kirill. After many months of tense silence and an unsuccessful visit to Barthlomew’s office in Istanbul on August 31, Kirill has been literally crying for help in the last few weeks, saying he was “ready to go anywhere and talk to anyone” in order to prevent the destruction of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

Politics with a “mystical dimension”

Kirill said the attack against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine “had not only a political, but also a mystical dimension.” Speaking in more earthly terms, there is a danger that the 1,000-year-old historical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) — which now owns 11,392 church buildings, 12,328 parishes, and two world-famous monasteries in Ukraine — will be dissolved. The roots of the UOC MP go back to the pre-Soviet Russian Empire and even further back to the era of Kievan Rus, the proto-state of the Eastern Slavs in the tenth-twelfth centuries AD, when the people who would later become Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians were adopting Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. It is by far the biggest church in Ukraine, as Mikhail Denisenko’s non-canonical “alternative” church has only 3,700 parishes that include church buildings (fewer than a third of what is owned by the UOC-MP, despite the fact that Denisenko enjoys official support from the Ukrainian state).

What many Russian and Ukrainian believers fear is that the Istanbul-based Patriarch Bartholomew will eventually grant Kiev what is being called autocephaly. In that event, the UOC-MP may be forced to merge with two other, non-canonical churches in Ukraine that have no apostolic liaison. The apostolic succession of the UOC-MP consists in the historical fact that its first bishops were ordained by medieval bishops from Constantinople, who had in turn been ordained by Christ’s disciples from ancient Israel. Apostolic succession is crucial for the Orthodox Church, where only bishops can ordain new priests and where the church’s connection to the first Christians is reflected in many ways, including in the clergy’s attire.

Metropolitan Hilarion (his secular name is Grigory Alfeyev), the Russian church’s chief spokesman on questions of schism and unity, accused the patriarch of contributing to the schism by officially “lifting” the excommunication from Ukraine’s most prominent schismatic church leader — the defrocked former bishop Mikhail Denisenko. That clergyman stands to gain most from the “autocephaly” promised to Poroshenko by Patriarch Bartholomew. A hierarchical Orthodox Church is considered to have autocephalous status, as its highest bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has stated that for Ukraine to be granted autocephaly from Istanbul, this would mean a complete “reformatting” of the country’s religious status quo and the severing of all links to Orthodox Russia and its “demons.”. Most likely, the new “united” church won’t be headed by the UOC MP’s Metropolitan, but by Mikhail Denisenko, who was excommunicated by both the UOC MP and the Russian church back in 1997 and with whom real Orthodox priests can only serve against their will and against the church’s internal rules.

Constantinople’s first dangerous moves

On October 11, 2018, the Constantinople Patriarchate made its first step towards granting autocephaly by repealing its own decision of 1686 that gave the Moscow Patriarch primacy over the Kiev-based Metropolitan. This 17th-century decision reflected the political reality of the merger between the states of Russia and Ukraine and established some order in the matters of church administration. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow gave the Ukrainian church complete independence in financial and administrative matters, but the two churches retained their cherished “spiritual unity.” “Constantinople’s decision is aimed at destroying that unity,” the ROC’s Patriarch Kirill explained. “We can’t accept it. That is why our Holy Synod made the decision to end eucharistic communication with the Constantinople Patriarchate.”

How Moscow “excommunicated” Bartholomew

The end of eucharistic communication means that the priests of the two patriarchates (based in Moscow and Istanbul) won’t be able to hold church services together. It will be maintained as long as the threat of autocephaly continues. The Western mainstream media, however, interpreted this decision by the Russian church as a unilateral aggressive act. The NYT and the British tabloid press wrote that it simply reveals Putin’s “desperation” at not being able to keep Ukraine’s religious life under control.

However, Patriarch Bartholomew seems undeterred by the protests from the Russian faithful and the majority of Ukraine’s believers. Bartholomew said in a recent statement that Russia should just follow the example of Constantinople, which once granted autocephaly to the churches of the Balkan nations. Bartholomew’s ambassadors in Kiev do not shy away from communicating with the self-declared “Patriarch” Filaret (Mikhail Denisenko’s adopted religious name from back when he was the UOC MP’s Metropolitan prior to his excommunication in 1997). For true Orthodox believers, any communication with Denisenko has been forbidden since 1992, the year when he founded his own so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP). Unfortunately, Denisenko enjoys the full support of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, and recently the US State Department began encouraging Denisenko, by giving its full support to Ukraine’s autocephaly.

The lifting of Denisenko’s excommunication by Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul both upset and embittered the Orthodox believers in both Ukraine and Moscow, since Denisenko was excommunicated by a joint decision of the Russian church and the UOC MP in 1997, after a five-year wait for his return to the fold of the mother church. So, by undoing that decision, Constantinople has interfered in the canonical territory of both the Ukrainian and the Russian churches.

The UOC-MP protested, accusing not only Patriarch Bartholomew, but also the Ukrainian state of interfering in the church’s affairs. “We are being forced to get involved in politics. The politicians do not want Christ to run our church; they want to do it themselves,” said Metropolitan Onufriy (Onuphrius), the head of the UOC-MP, in an interview with PravMir, an Orthodox website. “Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has been independent. Our church did not ask for autocephaly, because we already have independence. We have our own Synod (church council) and our own church court. Decisions are made by a congress of bishops and priests from all over Ukraine. We have financial and administrative independence, so autocephaly for us will be a limitation, not an expansion of our rights.”

Poroshenko’s premature jubilation

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Poroshenko did not conceal his jubilation about Constantinople’s moves. “This is a victory of good over evil, light over darkness,” Poroshenko said when the news about the lifting of Denisenko’s excomnmunication came from Istanbul in early October.

Poroshenko said he wanted a “united Orthodox Church” for his country, and he openly pressured Patriarch Bartholomew to provide autocephaly to Kiev during his visits to Istanbul in the spring of 2018 and in November of the same year. Meanwhile, Denisenko said that the provision of autocephaly would mean the immediate dispossession of the UOC MP. “This Russian church (UOC MP) will have to cede control of its church buildings and famous monasteries to the new Ukrainian church, which will be ours,” Denisenko was quoted by Ukrainian media as saying. “These monasteries have been owned by the state since Soviet times, and the state gave them to the Russian church for temporary use. Now the state will appoint our communities of believers as the new guardians of this heritage.” Denisenko also made a visit to the US, where he met Undersecretary of State Wess Mitchell, obtaining from him America’s active support for the creation of a “unified” Ukrainian church.

There is still a chance to prevent the schism from occurring. Poroshenko’s presidential aide, Rostislav Pavlenko, made it clear on Tuesday that the actual “tomos” (a letter from the Constantinople Patriarchate allowing the creation of an autocephalous church) will be delivered only IN RESPONSE to a request from a “unifying convention” that represents all of Ukraine’s Orthodox believers in at least some sort of formal manner. This new convention will have to declare the creation of a new church and elect this church’s official head. Only then will Constantinople be able to give that person the cherished “tomos.”

Since the UOC-MP has made it very clear that it won’t participate in any such convention, the chances of the smooth transition and easy victory over the “Muscovite believers” that Poroshenko wants so badly are quite slim. There are big scandals, big fights, and big disappointments ahead.

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Trump DEMOLISHES Macron; Tweets ‘Make France Great Again’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 16.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at US President Trump’s tweetstorm aimed at French President Macron, who just days ago used the WW1 ceremony in Paris to ridicule and talk down to the US President in front of world leaders.

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Via Zerohedge

Macron’s office has refused to comment on Trump’s claims.

OFFICE OF FRENCH PRESIDENT MACRON SAYS IT REFUSES TO MAKE ANY COMMENT REGARDING TRUMP’S TWEETS CRITICISING FRANCE AND MACRON

* * *

Without directly referencing the rumors, Trump has branded reports that he refused to appear at a cemetery for American soldiers because he didn’t want to get his hair wet as “fake news.” In the tweet, Trump insisted that he wanted the Secret Service to drive him to the speech instead of taking a helicopter, but they refused because of security concerns. He added that he gave a speech at the cemetery the next day in the pouring rain – something that was “little reported”.

Trump’s rampage against Macron continues. The president slammed his French counterpart for his low approval rating, as well as France’s high unemployment. Furthermore, in response to Macron’s “nationalist” snub, Trump pointed out that “there is no more nationalist country” than France..

…before adding a spin on his classic slogan.

Trump’s rage against Macron continues, but this time, the topic is slightly more serious. What could be more serious than questioning the foundation of Post-WWII military alliances, you might ask? The answer is simple – trade!

Trump conceded that while France makes “very good wine” (an interesting claim from Trump, who doesn’t drink), the country “makes it hard for the US to sell its wine into France, and charges very big tariffs”. Meanwhile “The US makes it easy for French wines and charges small tariffs.”

“Not Fair, must change!”

We now await Trump’s order of an investigation into the national security implications of imported French wine.

* * *

President Trump isn’t ready to forgive the “French diss” served up over the weekend by President Emmanuel Macron.

During a ceremony honoring the 100th anniversary of World War I at the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron insulted Trump to his face by launching into a screed about the dangers of toxic “nationalism” and subtly accusing the US of abandoning its “moral values”.

This did not sit well with the US president, who was already facing criticism over his decision to show up late to a ceremony honoring the war dead (the administration blamed it on security concerns though it’s widely suspected that Trump didn’t want to get his hair wet), and Trump has let his displeasure be known in a series of tweets ridiculing Macron’s suggestion that Europe build its own army, saying that France and other European members of NATO would be better served by paying their fair share for NATO while daring them to leave and pay for their own protection.

And in his most abrasive tweet yet mocking the increasingly unpopular Macron’s imperial ambitions (no, really), Trump pointed out that, historically speaking, Europe has been its own worst enemy, and that while Macron wants to defend the Continent from the US, China and Russia, “it was Germany in WWI & WWII,” adding that “they were starting to learn German in Paris before the US came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

Of course, Macron isn’t the only French official calling for the creation of a “European army”. The country’s finance minister advocated for the creation of a Continental army during an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt – a comment that was derided by the paper’s editors, who pointed out that Germans “weren’t very supportive” of the idea. One wonders why…

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