Russian Patriarch backs Serbia attempt to contest Kosovo independence
02 September 2009
Moscow, September 1, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has expressed support for the Serbian government's attempts to contest the recognition of Kosovo's independence.
"We know that the Serbian government has filed a lawsuit with the UN International Court, contesting Kosovo's independence as illegal. I have familiarized myself with the Russian Foreign Ministry's reaction on it and I agree with this position," the Russian Patriarch told Serbian Ambassador to Russia Jelica Kurjak in Moscow on Tuesday.
"The situation, which the recognition of Kosovo by a whole number of states will create, will not be favorable enough for the litigation," Patriarch Kirill said. But hopefully, he said, "the norms of international law will be defended by the court, or else a different turn of events may follow, leading to a destabilization in international relations," he said.
Patriarch Kirill again urged the world community to do all it can to guarantee the rights and security of Kosovo Serbs and to protect Orthodox Churches in the region. He described as "an absolute outrage" the destruction of Orthodox shrines in Kosovo in the early 2000s, adding that the insecure position of Kosovo believers today "can once again incite violence and loss of life."
"We belong to a single world and we share the same spiritual values and moral tradition, which links our peoples very strongly. We care for what is happening in the life of the Serbian people. Therefore, we take the Serbs' grief over the loss of Kosovo close to our hearts," he said.
Kurjak thanked Patriarch Kirill, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian leadership "for their permanent support for the idea of preserving the territorial integrity of our country." http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=dujour&div=66