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The Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church opened in Moscow on February 2, 2016.

The heads of states in the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate sent greetings to the Council.

Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, read out messages from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Byelorussian President Alexander Lukashenko, and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.