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A tale of two crises – Russia outpaces Brazil in economic recovery

Between the two BRICS heavyweights, it’s Putin’s government which has provided the most stability




(Forbes) – Russia and Brazil have a lot in common. It’s not something to brag about.

Both are blockbuster commodity exporters. They have a penchant for big government. Even their airports have that same doorbell chime before public announcements are made. Both are dealing with a serious political crisis, and corruption is endemic in the system.  One is in slightly better shape than the other.

Ten months ago, I traveled to Brazil for a month, visiting my old home in Sao Paulo, and saw an entire region reeling from back-to-back years of recession and political crisis. Brazil was a complete mess, I wrote.

For the political class, it is even more of a mess now. The country’s president, Michel Temer, is without a doubt the least popular leader in the Americas, if not the whole world. Brazilian life has deteriorated in cities like Salvador and Rio de Janeiro where violent crime is rising. Last year was the worst year on record for homicide.

Over 14 million people are out of work. Unemployment is near an all-time high at 13.6%. Brazil’s crisis is a crisis created by its political establishment. Its biggest state-run company, oil giant Petrobras, and its private contractors colluded in milking the government for private gain and political influence. Brazil has been greatly embarrassed by this.

“The problem with Brazil is not the Brazilians, it’s our government. It is embarrassing,” says Patricia Gusmao Gouvea, a part-time school teacher in Campinas who used to work as a full-time sales operations analyst for IBM until it was finally sold to Lenovo in 2014. A single mom with a son in college, she thinks Brazil is not getting better and she blames the political crisis for it all. “Companies are still not hiring,” she says.

Two weeks ago, I was in Russia. It, too, is reeling from back-to-back years of recession. Protests have erupted over the last 12 months in defiance of United Russia, the ruling party of Vladimir Putin that those activists deem corrupt to high heaven.

See: What Russian Meddling In Elections Might Have Looked Like — Forbes

Protesters gather in Moscow on June 12, 2017. Authorities detained Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and hundreds of his supporters as they mounted demonstrations across the nation against corruption. (Photo by VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Still, Putin is way more popular in his home country than Temer is in his. Temer is not running for president next year. Putin is. He has not formally declared.

“The odds of him not running are slim,” says Alexei Kudrin, former Finance Minister when Putin was Russia’s Prime Minister. He is now a professor at the University of St. Petersburg and runs the Civil Initiatives Committee, a Russian NGO.

If Washington, London, Berlin or Paris had to pick between the two presidents, Temer would win in a landslide. Ask Brazilians who’d they prefer, and they’d probably tell you Putin.

Like Brazil, Russia’s state-run oil and gas companies are in trouble. They are sanctioned by the U.S. and Europe. Unlike Brazil, Russian millionaires and billionaires (usually referred to as “oligarchs”) are constantly sullied for having dealings with President Donald Trump, even if those dealings occurred 10 years ago.  Multinational companies like Kaspersky Lab are trying to protect their business here, and may end up losing massive market share (or folding) now that stores have pulled their cybersecurity software from the shelves on allegations that it helped Russia’s government spy on the U.S.

American Senator Benjamin Cardin says Russia committed an “act of war” against the U.S. during last year’s election. In the summer, Senators like Cardin voted with near unanimity to block certain business deals with the Russians in their all-important oil and gas space.

Russia has been greatly embarrassed by this crisis.

“It’s like we Russians are an international virus,” says Maria Vavilova, a 23-year-old from Moscow. “Come near us, get this disease. Really, I feel we are the black sheep of the world.”

Which of the two is in better shape? There are only two differences, and both are measurable.

Russians feel victimized by the world.

Brazilians feel victimized by their government.

To the locals, only one is in crisis because of its own doing. That’s the psychological difference, at least. The other is a question of money and government finances.

Brazilian President Michel Temer’s approval rating is 3%. When the margin of error is included, it can be as low as zero. He is the least popular leader…in the world. (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)

Beating The Odds?

Thanks to global liquidity and some solid central banking by Brazilian and Russian monetary policy makers, the two countries are coming back to life.  Only, Russia has more of a spring in her step, with a badly sprang ankle. And Brazil is hobbling along on crutches, with one of the crutches smaller than the other.

While their economies are improving, the market prefers Brazil.

Nine Brazilian companies did an IPO this year, raising $4.87 billion. Nexa Resources listed on the NYSE in late October, raising $496 million and coming in at the lower end of the pricing range.

By comparison, only four Russian companies did an IPO this year, raising around $2 billion.

Commodities tycoon Oleg Deripaska listed his En+ Group in London last week, accounting for nearly all of the money raised for Russian entities this year at $1.5 billion. It too came in at the lower end of the pricing range.

See: Rio De Janeiro Is A Complete Mess — Forbes

This year, Brazil billionaire Abilio Diniz’s IPO of Carrefour was about $100,000 bigger than Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s En+ Group IPO, raising $1.6 billion. Both came in at the lower end of the suggested pricing range. Photographer: Victor Moriyama/Bloomberg

You can’t compare inflation between them, because Brazil is notoriously worse, historically speaking. Inflation is coming down in both countries, and so are interest rates. Brazil interest rates are only slightly higher than Russia’s and not indicative of any particular strength or weakness in the economies.

The dollar is weaker against the ruble, 3.6% weaker this year to be exact, while the Brazilian real is basically flat against the dollar this year. The ruble owes its strength to oil. That the Brazilian currency is steady is actually good news.

The bad news is that Brazil’s economy isn’t growing much. Second quarter GDP rose 0.3% from a year ago. IHS Markit is forecasting a meager 0.6% growth rate for Brazil this year.

Russia’s second quarter GDP rose 2.5%. This year’s growth rate is expected to come in at 1.7%, according to estimates by VTB Capital. This is impressive for Russia, considering its banks can’t borrow cheaply from Europe. Not to mention the fact that the country is currently gutting dozens of private banks for failing to meet new, strict capital requirements set by the central bank.

“My impression on sanctions is that the main impact has been on borrowing,” says Alexander Isakov, an economist with VTB.

Russia’s consumer confidence tanked when sanctions hit in 2014, but has rebounded. Russia, in other words, is doing more than muddling through. Consumer confidence is better than it is in Brazil.

Brazil may only look like it is muddling through, however.

Manufacturing PMI is about the same: 51. Retail sales for both are up 3% year over year, though Russia is forecast to see bigger gains over the next four quarters, according to Trading Economics.

Brazil is worse off from a government pocket book perspective.  Their account deficit is around -8%, while Russia’s is -3.7%. Russia’s is seen falling to -2% by this time next year; Brazil: -4.3%.

The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF: losing momentum….

Twinning! Russia losing momentum. Both Brazil and Russia ETFs are not as hot as China, India and the greater MSCI Emerging Markets Index fund.

From an investing standpoint, there is more domestic political risk in Brazil than there is in Russia. Russia’s political risk is from the West. You have to watch a lot of moving targets to get Russia risk right.

In Brazil, domestic politics is easier to asses. Nobody knows who will be Brazil’s president. Elections are next October. If polls are to be trusted, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will win. The only caveat is that he is under investigation for influence peddling and being one of the ring leaders in the Petrobras contract rigging scheme.

“We don’t know who the candidates will be, but even if Lula gets convicted, there are so many ways to interpret that in the courts that I can see it being a mess up to the last minute,” says Andrea Murta, the U.S. director of Brazilian legislative and regulatory news and information service, Jota. She thinks Temer has spent all of his political capital in avoiding another impeachment vote in the lower house. His predecessor and former colleague, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached last year.

Like Russia, don’t expect any blockbuster reforms.

Russia votes next spring. If Putin runs, he wins. Everybody knows this already. The political risk in Russia is dependent on Congressional appetite here. If the majority want to punish Trump for his ties, both real and imagined, to Russian oligarchs and government proxies, we could have sanctions on things like Russian government bonds and bans on owning equity of sanctioned companies. This was already stipulated and threatened by the latest sanctions update.

If Putin wins, it’s status quo governance.

If Lula wins, it is not a return to the good ole days of the early 2000s when he served two-terms.

“An eventual Lula victory would not mean that his Workers Party has the power they had when he won last time,” says Murta. “It’ll be a very divisive politics in Brasilia and I don’t think he’d even have the ability to govern, or finish his term because of the courts. That would be insane for Brazil. It’s a scenario I would not even want to imagine.”

The good news is, there’s always China and India…

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Massacre in Crimea kills dozens, many in critical condition

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

The Duran



“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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Russian Orthodox Church officially breaks ties with Constantinople

Biggest separation in almost 1,000 years as world’s largest Orthodox Church cuts communion with Constantinople over legitimizing schismatics.

Seraphim Hanisch



The schism between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate became official today, October 15, 2018, as the Russian Holy Synod reviewed the recent granting of communion to two schismatic groups in Ukraine, pursuant to Constantinople’s intent to grant autocephaly (full self-rule, or independence) to the agglomeration of these groups.

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RT reported that the Synod ruled that any further clerical relations with Constantinople are impossible, given the current conditions. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev told journalists today about the breach in relations:

“A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting” that is currently been held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, Hilarion said, as cited by TASS.

The move comes days after the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate decided to eventually grant the so-called autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, thus making the clerical organization, which earlier enjoyed a broad autonomy within the Moscow Patriarchate, fully independent.

The Moscow Patriarchate also said that it would not abide by any decisions taken by Constantinople and related to the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “All these decisions are unlawful and canonically void,” Hilarion said, adding that “the Russian Orthodox Church does not recognize these decisions and will not follow them.”

At the same time, the Russian Church expressed its hope that “a common sense will prevail” and Constantinople will change its decision. However, it still accused the Ecumenical Patriarch of initiating the “schism.”

The marks the most significant split in the Orthodox Church since the Great Schism of 1054, in which Rome excommunicated Constantinople, a breach between the Roman Catholics and Orthodox which has persisted ever since then, becoming hardened and embittered after the Roman Catholic armies sacked Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

Many other local Orthodox Churches expressed support for the Moscow Patriarchate’s position prior to today’s announcement, but the break in relations between these two churches does not have any known affect on local churches who hold communion with both Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate at this time.

The website ran the entire statement of the Holy Synod regarding this situation. We offer a brief summary of statements here, taken from that source and, adding emphasis.

With deepest pain, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church received the message of the Patriarchate of Constantinople published on October 11, 2018 about the decisions adopted by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: on the confirmation of the intention to “grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church”; on the opening of the “stavropegion” of the Patriarch of Constantinople in Kiev; on the “restoration in the hierarchal or priestly rank” of the leaders of the Ukrainian schism and their followers and the “return of their faithful to Church communion”; and on the “cancellation of the action” of the conciliar charter of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1686 concerning the transfer of the Kiev Metropolia to the Moscow Patriarchate

The Synod of the Church of Constantinople made these decisions unilaterally, ignoring the calls of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the entirety of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the fraternal Local Orthodox Churches, and their primates and bishops for pan-Orthodox discussion of the issue.

Entering into communion with those who have departed into schism, let alone those who have been excommunicated from the Church, is tantamount to departing into schism and is severely condemned by the canons of the holy Church: “If any one of the bishops, presbyters, or deacons, or any of the clergy shall be found communicating with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated, as one who brings confusion on the order of the Church” (Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch; Canon 10, 11 of the Holy Apostles).

The decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the “restoration” of the canonical status and the reception into communion of the former Metropolitan Philaret Denisenko, excommunicated from the Church, ignores a number of successive decisions of the Bishops’ Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church, the legitimacy of which are beyond doubt.

By the decision of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kharkov of May 27, 1992, Metropolitan Philaret (Denisenko) was removed from the Kiev Cathedra and was banned from the clergy for not fulfilling the oath made by him before the cross and the Gospel at the previous Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

By its ruling of June 11,1992, the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, confirmed the decision of the Kharkov Council and expelled Philaret Denisenko from his rank, depriving him of every degree of the priesthood on the following charges: “Cruel and arrogant attitude to the subordinate clergy, dictatorialness, and intimidation (Tit. 1:7-8; Canon 27 of the Holy Apostles); introducing temptation among the faithful by his behavior and personal life (Matthew 18:7; Canon 3 of the First Ecumenical Council, Canon 5 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council); oath-breaking (Canon 25 of the Holy Apostles); public slander and blasphemy against the Bishops’ Council (Canon 6 of the Second Ecumenical Council); the celebration of clerical functions, including ordinations, in a state of suspension (Canon 28 of the Holy Apostles); the perpetration of a schism in the Church (Canon 15 of the First-Second Council).” All ordinations performed by Philaret in a suspended state since May 27, 1992, and the punishments imposed by him, were declared invalid.

Despite repeated calls for repentance, after the deprivation of his hierarchal rank Philaret Denisenko continued his schismatic activity, including within the bounds of other Local Churches. By the ruling of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1997, he was given over to anathema.

The aforesaid decisions were recognized by all the Local Orthodox Churches, including the Church of Constantinople.

… Now, after more than two decades, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has changed its position for political reasons.

… St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, in his Pedalion, which is an authoritative source of ecclesiastical-canonical law of the Church of Constantinople, interprets Canon 9 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, rejecting the false opinion on the right of Constantinople to consider appeals from other Churches: “The Primate of Constantinople does not have the right to act in the dioceses and provinces of other Patriarchs, and this rule did not give him the right to take appeals on any matter in the Ecumenical Church… “ Listing a whole range of arguments in favor of this interpretation, referring to the practice of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, St. Nikodemos concludes: “At present … the Primate of Constantinople is the first, the only, and the last judge over the metropolitans subordinate to him—but not over those who are subject to the rest of the Patriarchs. For, as we said, the last and universal judge of all the Patriarchs is the Ecumenical Council and no one else.” It follows from the above that the Synod of the Church of Constantinople does not have canonical rights to withdraw judicial decisions rendered by the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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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



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 (Translation by,

“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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