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France rebels against ‘unacceptable’ anti-Russian sanctions

Paris will defend its interests against extraterritorial sanctions




The French people have come to face the truth – the US is indeed exceptional – exeptionally arrogant.The French Ambassador has made it clear that France has always opposed US extraterritorial sanctions, and finds them to be ‘unacceptable’. TASS news quotes the Ambassador as saying:

“France has an absolutely clear position in what concerns the US sanctions of exterritorial character,” she said. “We find them to be unacceptable. We would like to safeguard our own interests and the opportunities for investment and economic presence here in Russia.”

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know what extraterritorial sanctions are – they are a ridiculous concept that no sane person should worry about in a normal world.

Here is what they are in a very simplistic way:

With normal sanctions, one country imposes them on another entity, forbidding their own people and companies, and those whom they have jurisdiction over, from doing business with them.

What makes extraterritorial sanctions different than normal sanctions, is that they demand that not only their own people must obey the sanctions, but all other countries should also obey these sanctions created by the US.

So essentially, the US sanctions Russia, and not only expects US companies and citizens to comply, but they demand that OTHER countries, nationals, and peoples also obey US sanctions against Russia, and by default, that these countries also sanction Russia. So in other words, the US is saying:

Hey France, this is the world police here speaking. We noticed you’re traditing with Russia, perhaps you didn’t notice we forbid this trade in our sanctions…certainly you wouldn’t disagree with your Washington overlords. We expect you to obey us and follow us in every way, even if we ask you to betray your own interests, because to do otherwise would be betraying our interests, and then we can’t be allies, because allies don’t betray eachothers interest.

Extraterritorial sanctions are part of the economic sphere of the US view that it is the world police, with global jurisdiction. They are incredibly presumptuous and arrogant, a monument to US exceptionalism, in that they feel sanctions they create should apply to all other countries.

This is distinct from UN sanctions, (like the ones on North Korea), which DO apply globally, because these are created with the consent of the majority of nations participating in the UN.

The report by TASS points out that:

At the end of July 2017, the US House of Representatives adopted the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act. President Donald Trump signed it into law on August 2, expressing his strong objections to some of its provisions along the way.

The law envisions a toughening of unilateral restrictive measures against Russia, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Its initiators also made efforts to make the law exterritorial and spelt out the mechanisms for applying the sanctions to the companies and institutes in third countries, which cooperate with the Russian energy sector businesses, defense manufacturers or intelligence services.

In this regards, the US feels its sanctions carry the same weight as those imposed by the entire international community, and that America is, in fact, greater than all the nations of the world. It is one thing to love your country above all – that is patriotism. It’s a completely separate matter to think your nation is intrinsically superior to every nation in the world.

Russia understands that all countries have national interest, US included, Russia has always defended hers, but the way the US views their own is different. Not only do they defend it, which is normal, but they aggressively attack others, with the genuine belief that anything they do is truly just and Holy. They feel other countries should betray their own interests if it suits US goals, and to do otherwise would be immoral.

France needs Russian trade, and Russia is happy to trade with France. After the Ukraine crisis, France was forced to scrap a lucrative deal with Russia to supply Minstral Warships to Russia. This deal would have been wonderful for THE French shipping industry, and in scrapping it, and caving to foreign pressure, France has shown the world that it is possible she is already no longer a great power, which does as she pleases, but rather subject to the commands and pressure of her allies.

Good allies don’t ask each other to betray their national interests.

The French Ambassador also noted the connection of the sanctions with the Ukraine crisis, and is hoping for a resolution to the crisis, and with it, sanctions in their entirety:

“Sanctions are instruments and we do hope the situation [in eastern Ukraine] will be changing,” Ambassador Bermann said. “We also hope for their revision after the Minsk accords are translated into life.”

Russians may say “C Nami Bog” (God is with us), and the Greeks “Met’h h’Imon O Theos“, Germans may say the same “Gott mit uns“, and the French may say “Dieu avec nous“, but it seems the US is saying “God is with us, and ONLY with US, and if you aren’t with US, God isn’t with YOU”.

The way the US imposes sanctions on a country, and then expects the entire world to comply, is just another example of the way the US is exceptional – exceptionally arrogant.

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch



The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.





Via RT…

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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When Putin Met Bin Sally

Another G20 handshake for the history books.



Via Zerohedge

In the annals of handshake photo-ops, we just may have a new winner (much to the delight of oil bulls who are looking at oil treading $50 and contemplating jumping out of the window).

Nothing but sheer joy, delight and friendship…

…but something is missing…

Meanwhile, earlier…

Zoomed in…

And again.

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