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On 11 October, a synod of the bishops of the Orthodox Church’s patriarchate of Constantinople (Ecumenical) confirmed the canonicity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, denied Moscow’s sovereignty over Kiev, and finally confirmed that in the near future Ukrainian Orthodoxy would obtain autocephaly (complete independence). The clergy felt that in the seventeenth century the patriarchs of Moscow had illegally annexed the Orthodox metropolis of Kyiv to the area of their jurisdiction (the canonical territory).
A conflict over a snap parliamentary election which, according to the constitution, is not scheduled until 2022 is taking place in Armenia. The dispute escalated when, on 2 October, the parliament accepted amendments to the act on regulations of the house’s work imposing restrictions on holding early elections. In response to this, tens of thousands of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s supporters took to the streets on his appeal, blocking the building of the National Assembly.
The British investigative portal Bellingcat launched a campaign in September as part of which the identities of the Russian military intelligence officers responsible for aggressive diversionary moves are being gradually revealed; this has surprised the Russian side.
On 3 October, a plenary debate was held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg devoted to the state of rule of law in Romania, in which the Prime Minister of Romania Viorica Dăncilă took part, among others.
The parliamentary elections in Latvia (6 October) were won by the Social Democratic Party Harmony, which mainly represents an electorate of the country’s Russian-speaking inhabitants. Harmony was chosen by 19.8% of the electorate, which means the loss of a single seat; the party will have 23 in the 100-seat parliament.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi opposition journalist who had co-operated with The Washington Post (among other media) went missing on 2 October in Istanbul. According to the Turkish services, he was detained in the grounds of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul where he was settling formalities linked to his planned wedding with a citizen of Turkey. Then he was reportedly tortured and murdered in the consulate’s building. His case came as a shock to the Western media and public opinion in Arab countries.
The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Bavaria continuously for sixty years. The CSU’s domination of the province’s political scene, together with its influence on federal policies through its partnership with the CDU in the Bundestag, has made the party one of the most effective groups in Europe. In the medium term Bavaria will have to face challenges connected with the transformation and digitisation of industry, which could undermine the province’s current economic model.
On 27-29 September, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a state visit to Berlin, where he met President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Their discussions focused on the economy, migration, the fight against terrorism and the war in Syria. At a press conference after the meeting, Merkel merely announced a willingness to talk with the presidents of France, Russia and Turkey on the situation in Syria. No other decisions were presented.
A consultative referendum was held on 30 September in the Republic of Macedonia on integration into the EU and NATO, and an agreement with Greece changing the constitutional name of the country to the Republic of North Macedonia. 91.5% of those participating voted in favour of integration and adopting the agreement, while 5.7% voted against. The turnout figure was 36.9%, thus failing to clear the threshold of 50% required for the referendum to be considered conclusive, an outcome which would have strengthened the position of the government.
The Ukrainian-Russian war not only came as a shock to the Ukrainian political elite and public – it also turned out to be a kind of a shock therapy for the Ukrainian economy. Very serious and deep changes have taken place in Ukraine’s trade co-operation with other countries since 2014.