Voices from Russia

Saturday, 21 September 2013

“Greece Sticks to Policy of Non-Recognition of Kosovo”

Kosovo je Srbija

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Aleksandar Vulin, the Serbian Minister Without Portfolio in charge of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, said that Greece remains committed to a policy of non-recognition of Kosovo‘s unilateral declaration of independence, telling Tanjug in Athens after a meeting with Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Kourkoulas, which focused on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and the upcoming local elections, that Greece also supports “everything that Serbia’s doing regarding the implementation of the Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Priština. We received support from our traditional friends that they’d continue to pursue the policy of non-recognition of Kosovo and Metohija”. Greece will assume the EU presidency from Lithuania on 1 January 2014.

Vulin said that successful local elections in Kosovo are the only way to normalise life in the province. On Thursday, Vulin said at a roundtable organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) that the issue of security is of key importance for Kosovo Serbs, which requires that crimes be solved, and that hasn’t been the case up to this point. He noted, “For us, the Serbian government, the November elections are the most important. We have invested our entire authority and called on Kosovo Serbs to go to the polls, which was a difficult and politically risky decision, but we know that’s the only way to normalise life in Kosovo”. Vulin emphasised that the stability of the entire region depends on establishing a lasting stability in Kosovo, warning, “If terrorists prevail, if they succeed… we’ll have constant instability of the entire region”.

Vulin noted that, according to the latest information, around 40,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) registered to vote in local elections, which is, as he emphasised, a very good outcome. Vulin restated that for Kosovo Serbs, security for all residents is the main issue and a prerequisite for everything. Vulin observed that since the arrival of the international community in Kosovo, there were 1,037 murders of Serbs due to ethnic bias, but that the courts only sentenced two perpetrators, whilst the other crimes are still unsolved. He cautioned, “There can be no security until that’s changed”, adding that there are also around 40,000 unresolved property cases. Vulin said that this is a reason why Serbs aren’t returning to Kosovo, and noted that around 40,000 Serbs lived in Priština before the 1999 war, but today, there are only 30-40 left there. According to international data, he pointed up that there are between 200,000 and 230,000 Serb IDPs.

Vulin informed participants of the roundtable, held at the representative office of the European Parliament in Greece, about Thursday morning’s murder of a EULEX staff member in Zvečan, saying, “That’s a tragedy. A lost human life, without any reason whatsoever… whoever did that is the greatest enemy of Serbia and Kosovo Serbs, an enemy of peaceful and normal life in Kosovo. On both sides, there are people who think that the Brussels agreement isn’t good and that it isn’t good that Kosovo Serbs in Kosovo can’t assume responsibility for their own future. The Brussels accord is a historic one, but it’s only a first step, the first of many agreements that Belgrade and Priština should reach. For us, maybe, our cultural heritage is the most important, the heritage of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo. We think that should be raised to the level of a new agreement between Belgrade and Priština, with the EU as an intermediary”.

Vulin voiced the hope that the negotiating teams would soon start working on an agreement on property. He noted that the parties reached an agreement on telecommunications and energy, but that they can’t complete solve the problems surrounding energy until they achieve an agreement on property. Vulin also voiced concern over changes to the Law on Amnesty in Kosovo, accentuating that Belgrade or Priština can’t change whatever agreement that comes out of Brussels, but they must be consistently adhere to it. Vulin was on a two-day visit to Athens, but he cut his trip short because of the killing of the EULEX staff member.

20 September 2013

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2013&mm=09&dd=20&nav_id=87735

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Christian Leaders Urge Churches to Mobilise Behind Syria Peace Plan

00 Give Peace a Chance. atomic fireball. 21.09.13

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On Thursday, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged its Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican member churches to lobby their congregations and national governments to support a political solution to the war in Syria. The Genève-based WCC made the appeal after a meeting with international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who both asked Christian leaders to help mobilise public opinion for peace. The appeal by the WCC, representing about a quarter of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, follows similar calls by the Roman Catholic Church, which makes up over half of global Christianity. A WCC communiqué released after a meeting near Genève on Wednesday said, “Churches must continue to raise their voice in their congregations and with their governments. We must strengthen the public outcry so that those in power will protect the common interest of humanity”. WCC General Secretary Rev Olaf Fyske Tveit told Reuters that there was “consensus in the whole Christian family” for a negotiated peace in Syria, and Brahimi and Annan convinced church leaders it could happen “if there’s enough political support”.

21 September 2013

Reuters

As quoted in AsiaOne

http://news.asiaone.com/news/world/christian-leaders-urge-churches-mobilise-behind-syria-peace-plan

Romanian Orthodox Priest Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault of Parishioner in Metro Toronto Church

01 handcuffs

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On Wednesday, cops arrested a Toronto priest for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in his Scarborough ON (part of the Greater Toronto Area) parish. Ioan Pop, the 54-year-old parish priest at All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church, faces charges of one count of sexual assault. According to the Toronto Police Service, on Tuesday 3 September, reports say that Rev Pop allegedly sexually assaulted a woman who entered the church, only to be surprised by a couple who “interrupted the assault”. The statement added, “Police believe that there may be more victims”. All Saints, located near Birchmount and Danforth, was consecrated in 2008. A 2008 write-up on the website of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas said that the parish itself came about “because of the desire of the Romanian faithful and the efforts of Fr Ioan Pop to create a solid Romanian and Orthodox community on Canadian soil”. Rev Pop has a 15 October hearing at the Eglinton Avenue East courthouse.

13 September 2013

Tristin Hopper

National Post

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/13/orthodox-priest-arrested-in-alleged-sexual-assault-of-scarborough-parishioner/

21 September 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. NASA’s LADEE Probe to Study Lunar Atmosphere

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. NASA's LADEE Probe to Study Lunar Atmosphere. 2013

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NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is on an unmanned robotic mission to orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface, and environmental influences on lunar dust. The purpose of the mission is to catalogue the composition, density, and variability of the lunar atmosphere.

7 September 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/infografika/20130907/960467775.html

http://www.en.rian.ru/infographics/20130913/183417486/NASAs-LADEE-Probe-to-Study-Lunar-Atmosphere.html

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