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SHOCKER: US sides with Russia over Ukraine in WTO case

What actions can countries take in the name of national security, even if it violates their WTO commitments?

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Typically, Washington is against anything that benefits Moscow, and is for anything which bolsters the position of US puppet regime Ukraine. But, at ongoing cases before the World Trade Organization, that narrative isn’t applicable.

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This is so because if Washington slams Moscow for its actions relative to Kiev, it would provide a case against Trump’s metals tariffs. However, by standing with Russia on this issue, Washington thinks that it can save its own trade actions, namely Trump’s metals tariffs.

Politico reports

The Trump administration is siding with Russia in a potential landmark case over an issue that threatens to tear the World Trade Organization apart: What actions can countries take in the name of national security, even if it violates their WTO commitments?

The panel’s decision, expected later this year, could be consequential for a number of cases brought against the U.S. over President Donald Trump’s use of steel and aluminum tariffs.

However, the case involving Russia stems from a different type of action — namely, transit restrictions that Moscow imposed on Ukraine in January 2016 that cut off key markets in Central Asia and the Caucuses, which Ukrainian exporters can only reach by Russian roads. The move came amid continuing conflict between the two nations over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and a war in eastern Ukraine that’s now in its fifth year.

Although the U.S. backs Ukraine in the larger territorial conflict, both the U.S. and Russia argue the WTO has no right to weigh in on the case Ukraine brought against the transit restrictions.

That’s because Moscow says it imposed its restrictions as a national security measure under Article 21 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which allows members to take actions that violate their WTO commitments for purposes of national security.

The U.S. government argues that “the dispute involving essential security is political in nature and, therefore, beyond the proper authority and competency of the WTO to assess.”

It’s the same argument the Trump administration is using to justify its steel and aluminum tariffs. Both Washington and Moscow insist Article 21 claims are “non-justiciable” — meaning WTO panels can’t rule on any dispute invoking the national security exemption.

In the other words, they argue “as soon as anybody says the word ‘Article 21’ out loud, the panel has to stop and go home,” Jennifer Hillman, a former WTO Appellate Body judge, said in a recent speech.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative declined to comment, but directed to POLITICO to documents on its website explaining its position in the Russia-Ukraine dispute.

“A dispute involving essential security is political in nature and, therefore, beyond the proper authority and competency of the WTO to assess,” the U.S. government said during an oral presentation on the case earlier this year. “The panel should fulfill its function by noting the invocation of Article 21(b)(iii) in its report to the [WTO Dispute Settlement Body] and make no other findings.”

Some other WTO members, such as Canada, believe countries should at least be required to say why they’re invoking Article 21. However, Russia and the U.S. counter that the provision is “self-judging” — that is, once a country decides an action is in its national security interests, it doesn’t have to explain the decision to other members.

Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs come closest to a safeguard action, but that would require the U.S. to compensate other WTO members for lost trade, something Trump didn’t want to do.

“The text of Article 21 contains no requirement for a member to detail reasons or events to invoke the security exception. The text instead provides only that a member ‘considers’ the action necessary for the protection of its essential security interests in time of war or other emergency in international relations,” the U.S. said in another legal brief in the case.

However, Hillman contends the provision isn’t as broad as the Trump administration argues, since the text indicates it can only be used in situations involving nuclear weapon materials; trade in implements of war or goods to supply a military establishment; or in the time of war or some “other emergency in international relations.”

In Russia’s case, the country has been reluctant to admit any military role in Ukraine, so identifying the reason for its national security exception could be awkward for Moscow, she said.

Trump imposed duties on steel and aluminum in March following a pair of investigations that found imports of the two metals threatened to impair national security by weakening the U.S. economy. A rarely used U.S. law known as Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act allows the president to restrict imports in the case of a national security threat, but most commanders in chief have been loathe to use the authority.

Countries responded to Trump’s trade restrictions both by retaliating against U.S. exports and by challenging the move at the WTO, accusing the U.S. of imposing an illegal trade barrier.

“Nobody’s declaring war on Canada, or saying they’re an unfriendly neighbor. They’re obviously not” — U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

Under WTO rules, countries that want to impose additional duties on imports can do so through a temporary “safeguard” action; through countervailing and anti-dumping duty proceedings; or through negotiations with other WTO members. Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs come closest to a safeguard action, but that would require the U.S. to compensate other WTO members for lost trade, something Trump didn’t want to do.

While the EU, China, Canada, Mexico and others believe the tariffs are illegal, the U.S. makes the same charge against countries that have retaliated.

“Instead of working with us to address a common problem [of global steel and aluminum excess capacity], some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in statement announcing WTO cases against five trading partners. “These tariffs appear to breach each WTO member’s commitments under the WTO agreement.”

Lighthizer repeated that sentiment Thursday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, where he was challenged to explain how steel and aluminum exports from a longtime ally like Canada pose a threat to national security.

“Nobody’s declaring war on Canada, or saying they’re an unfriendly neighbor. They’re obviously not,” Lighthizer replied. “They’re a great ally and certainly one of America’s closest friends and closest trading partners. But if you decide that you need to protect an industry, you can’t be in a position where the protection is of no value because everything comes in … from Canada.”
That doesn’t mean the countries themselves are a national security threat, just their exports, he explained, adding that once the U.S. has decided to restrict imports, it has to ensure there’s “no hole in the net” that defeats the purpose of the original action. Still, many close allies are offended by the Trump administration’s use of the national security argument to keep out their products.

“This goes against all logic and against all history. We simply cannot accept this,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday, just hours after he and Trump agreed to launch negotiations to reduce trade barriers across the Atlantic. Those talks could lead to removal of the steel and aluminum tariffs and Europe’s retaliatory duties on $3.3 billion of American exports.

But still looming is another probe into whether auto and auto part imports, including from Europe, pose a risk to U.S. national security.

Although Trump agreed to hold off on imposing new tariffs on the EU as long as negotiations are making progress, he’s directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to continue the Section 232 auto investigation to keep the option of additional restrictions on the table.

In the meantime, the cases that China, the EU and others have brought against the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs are proceeding at the WTO, as well as the more recent cases brought by the U.S. against the retaliatory tariffs.

A narrow ruling that restricts the right of WTO members to use the exception could reinforce Trump’s perception.

If WTO judges get over the first hurdle and decide they can rule in cases invoking Article 21, there’s a fear they could either decide the case too narrowly or too broadly, a senior European official said last week.

A narrow ruling that restricts the right of WTO members to use the exception could reinforce Trump’s perception that the rules-based global trading is unfairly tilted against the U.S. and encourage him to disregard its decisions.

A broad ruling, meanwhile, could open the door for countries to use the national security exception every time they want to unilaterally raise duties or take some other action in contravention of their WTO obligations.

The second possibility presents a particularly interesting situation, where countries could potentially invoke the “self-judging” Article 21 exception to justify their retaliatory duties on the U.S.

Trade restrictions are bad, and Moscow is bad no matter what. But when it suits American interests, however, the situation can be radically different, as in this case.

Here, at these WTO proceedings, trade restrictions on the basis of national security are awesome and Russia is perfectly okay using them, because it happens to work out in Washington’s benefit to say so.

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Trauma2000AM HantsVeeNarian (Yerevan)freddJohn Mason Recent comment authors
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Trauma2000
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Trauma2000

So… the U.$. ‘siding’ with Russia out of ‘self interest’ and ‘money.’ Not surprising. Everything the U.$. does is done out of Self Interest and Money.

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Interesting to see how this pans out. Ukraine has shown she is at war with Russia, so Russia can prove national security is at risk, based on Ukraine’s actions.

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

US/EU/NATO stuffed organisations are fundamentally flawed. I really don’t know why Russia has bothered with them. I suppose there is no choice until BRICS/SCO alternatives are up and running.
So, let me get this straight: Ukraine claims that Russia has invaded the Donbass, annexed Crimea and this position has been backed by the US/EU/NATO gang? And yet Russia cannot take act on its security?
Remember how the US/EU/NATO gang could sanction Russia in an attempt to destroy its economy in 2014, but Russia had no right to respond with its food sanctions?
This is the mentality of the Western supremacists.

fredd
Guest
fredd

In Russia’s case, the country has been reluctant to admit any military
role in Ukraine, so identifying the reason for its national security
exception could be awkward for Moscow, she said.

no it is not Ukraine is the hostile nation accusing russia of an invasion and not producing any proof so it is in russia’s interest to stop traffic from this hostile nation on its territory

John Mason
Guest
John Mason

Having read the article one can come to a logical conclusion to save the WTO is to throw the US out.

rufous
Guest
rufous

Who’s elected to the WTO? No one. Why the hell wouldn’t the US or Russia prefer to limit the WTO’s power? I think it’s a good idea.

usc440
Guest
usc440

ukraine was tricked into this war be george soros and the corrupt EU….. once again poor ukraine left at the altar to fight russia on its own…… poor ukraine gets screwed again…………

Bill Spence
Guest
Bill Spence

The US does not have to accept consistency and can violate WTO rules at will. So one should question why they would ever side with Russia.

Latest

Fusion GPS founder trapped in legal jeopardy, bets on Democrat midterm win to bury Russiagate hoax (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 135.

Alex Christoforou

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Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr and ex-FBI official James Baker are set to testify before Congress, but Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.

The man at the center of the Russiagate hoax, Glenn Simpson, headed the espionage/PR smear firm Fusion GPS, which ordered the discredited and fake Trump ‘dossier’, which John McCain handed to the FBI, and which Buzzfeed News published as actual news.

Simpson has a lot of explaining to do, and now appears trapped in his “under oath” lies.

Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, husband to Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr.

Simpson also stated under oath that he never discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application, which was used to spy on Carter Page and kick off the ‘Russiagate hoax’.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the legal jeopardy entangling Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Republicans are close to breaking the ‘Russiagate hoax’ wide open, but Simpson is betting on delay tactics, and a subsequent Democrat midterm House victory, to save his ass from prosecution, and bury his involvement in a brazen attempt to discredit and remove an elected US President.

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According to Zerohedge, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson may be in “real legal jeopardy” over inconsistent testimony given to Congress regarding his involvement in a massive counterintelligence effort against then-candidate Donald Trump, including the infamous Steele dossier.

Speaking with Fox News Maria Bartiromo, John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said…

“I’m not surprised that Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.”

“He probably should. He’s in real legal jeopardy. Very clearly someone is not telling the truth.”

Via The Daily Caller… 

Simpson, who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, informed Congress on Thursday that he will plead the Fifth to avoid speaking with members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Committee in an interview set for Tuesday.

“The reason for that … is that Glenn Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with Bruce Ohr or discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application in 2016 or the 2016 presidential election,” said Ratcliffe, a member of the House Judiciary panel.

Via Fox News ‘Sunday Morning Futures’

Via Zerohedge

Ohr told the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees in an August 28 interview that he met with Simpson in August and December of 2016 to discuss Fusion GPS’s opposition research into Donald Trump.

Bruce’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS for the anti-Trump effort at the time.

Simpson, however, told a different story to the House Intelligence Committee on November 14, 2017, when he said that he hadn’t been in contact with anyone from the DOJ or FBI until after the election. While he did acknowledge meeting with Bruce Ohr (meetings which would result in Ohr’s demotion), Simpson never disclosed his wife’s employment.

“Ohr, who has been demoted twice since December, was also in frequent contact with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier. Steele, a former British spy, was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible links to the Kremlin.

Steele met with the Ohrs on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump team. Ohr met just after with FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe.” – Daily Caller

Following the 2016 election, Steel and Ohr met over a dozen times, despite the FBI having blacklisted Steele for improper media disclosures concerning his work.

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Hillary and Holder are hurting Democrat Party with their rhetoric

Democrat-written opinion piece points out the fact that the party has radicalized so much it has left its own supporters behind.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):

As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.

Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.

I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.

The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.

This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.

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Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.

While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.

Mr. Schoen continues:

As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.

America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.

Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.

So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!

Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:

  • Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
  • Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.

There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.

And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.

Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.

We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.

The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.

We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.

If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.

Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.

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Patriarch Bartholomew lifts anathemas on schismatics in Ukraine (VIDEO)

Most of the Orthodox world is in strong opposition to this move by Patriarch Bartholomew, whose motivations seem not to be of Christ.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The biggest news in the Eastern Orthodox world in recent times occurred on Thursday, October 11, 2018. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, lifted the anathemas against two schismatic Ukrainian Churches and their leaders, paving the way to the creation of a fully independent Ukrainian national Orthodox Church.

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This announcement was given in English and is shown here in video with the textual transcript following:

“Presided by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018 in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda. The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length, the ecclesiastical mater of Ukraine in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishp Ilarion of Edmonon, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed (emphasis added):

First, to renew the decision already made, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine;

Second, to re-establish at this moment the stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev—one of its many starvorpegion in Ukraine that existed there always;

Third, to accept and review the petitions of appeal of Philaret Denisenko and Makary Maletich and their followers who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy of all the autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church;

Fourth, to revoke the legal binding of the Synodal letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through economia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev elected by the clergy-laity assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople;

Fifth, to appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence and retaliation so that he peace and love of Christ may prevail.”

There are a few things that must be said about what this declaration is not before we get to the matter of what the points of actually are. The point of reference is the strict letter of the text above itself.

  • This is not a granting of autocephaly (full independent self-rule status) like the fourteen universally canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in the world. However, it is a huge step towards this status.
  • As far as Constantinople is concerned, Filaret Denisenko, the leader and “Patriarch” of the “Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and Makary, the “Metropolitan” of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church”, and all their faithful are now restored to communion. The statement says that this applies to “The Church” which may be trying to state that these two men (and all the faithful that they lead), are now in communion with the entirety of canonical Orthodoxy, but more likely, this may be a carefully worded statement to say they now are in communion with Constantinople alone.
  • There is an official call for the cessation of the violence directed against the Moscow Patriarchate parishes and communities, who are the only canonically recognized Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and who are also the largest by far in that country. The Kyiv Patriarchate and Uniate (Roman oriented) Greek Catholics in Ukraine have gone on record for seizing MP church properties, often by force, with neo-Nazi sympathizers and other radical Ukrainian nationalists. So this official call to cease the violence is now a matter of public record.

However, the reaction has been far less civil than the clergy wished for.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: “Expressing his view of the Moscow Patriarchate, Poroshenko added, “This is a great victory of the God-loving Ukrainian people over the Moscow demons, the victory of Good over Evil, the victory of Light over Darkness.”’

Perhaps this is the reason Metropolitan Onuphry of Ukraine (exarch under the Moscow Patriarchate) has been labeled an enemy of Ukraine and is now receiving death threats. Very civil.

Poroshenko’s statement is all the more bizarre, considering that it has been Ukrainian ultra-nationalists that have been violently attacking Moscow – related parishes in Ukraine. This has been corroborated by news sources eager to pin the blame on Russia, such as the U.K. Guardian.

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, based in Kiev and supportive of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been under intense cyber attack since October 11th, when the EP’s announcement was issued.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary: “What happened at the Synod in Istanbul yesterday shocked the entire Orthodox world. It seems the Patriarchate of Constantinople is consciously embarking on a path of schism in world Orthodoxy. Patriarch Bartholomew ignored the calls of the Local Churches to convene a meeting of the primates to work out a common and conciliar solution to the Ukrainian Church issue and unilaterally made very serious but erroneous decisions. I hope the Orthodox world will give this action an objective evaluation… Having received the schismatics into communion, Patriarch Bartholomew did not make them canonical, but has himself embarked on the path of schism. The schismatics remain schismatics. They did not receive any autocephaly or tomos. It seems they have lost even that independence, although non-canonical, that they had and which they always emphasized.”

Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia:“The Orthodox world recognizes the only canonical primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. This fact was repeatedly mentioned and confirmed by the primate of the Great Church of Christ His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on behalf of all present at the Synaxis of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches that was held in Chambésy (Switzerland) from January 21 to 27, 2016. Therefore, any attempt to legalize the Ukrainian schismatics by the state authorities should be strongly condemned by all the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wrote two letters to the Ecumenical Patriarch, advocating that the provision of a new autocephaly is possible only with the consent of all local Orthodox Churches. According to Sedmitza.ru (Translation by Pravoslavie.ru),

“In these letters, it was very clearly stated that the granting of autocephaly cannot be the prerogative the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone, that new autocephalies must be created only with the consent of all the Local Orthodox Churches, as the Holy Synod of Antioch also said in its recent statement.”

Pat. Irinej also warned the Patriarchate of Constantinople against making such major decisions unilaterally, because “it will not bring harmony and peace to the Ukrainian land, but, on the contrary, will cause new divisions and new schisms.”

The Holy Synod of Antioch, the oldest Orthodox Church, and actually the very first place where the disciples of Christ were even called “Christians” weighed in on the issue as well and they had several things to say:

“The fathers examined the general Orthodox situation. They stressed that the Church of Antioch expresses her deep worries about the attempts to change the boundaries of the Orthodox Churches through a new reading of history. She considers that resorting to a unilateral reading of history does not serve Orthodox unity. It rather contributes to the fueling of the dissensions and quarrels within the one Church. Thus, the Church of Antioch refuses the principle of establishing parallel jurisdictions within the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchates and the autocephalous Churches as a way to solve conflicts, or as a de facto situation in the Orthodox world.

To summarize, this move by Constantinople is not being warmly received by many, many people. Most of the local Churches are on record giving their reaction to this process. In brief, here is the list most of the Local Churches and a one or two word summary of their reactions.

Patriarchate of Georgia: Unilateral action is wrong; Constantinople and Moscow must cooperate and find a solution together.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem: recognizes Ukraine as a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church alone, as do all other local Churches

Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa: The Church does not bow to politicians. Moscow-led church is the only canonical Church in Ukraine.

Archbishop of Cyprus: Decries the Ukrainian situation but offered to mediate a discussion between Moscow and Constantinople

Bulgarian Patriarchate: Interference of the State in Church affairs leads to serious and negative consequences for both.

Polish Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Sawa called for a council of Orthodox ruling hierarchs to discuss this situation.

Estonian Orthodox Church: Condemns Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

Greek Archdiocese of America: Supports Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

The Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus quoted): “Schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and holy canons and the Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. Why then this persistence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an autocephalous Church? To provoke schisms and divisions in the one universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?”

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR): Ceased commemoration of Constantinople, ceased concelebration with Constantinople.

This issue has also rocked the secular geopolitical world.

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