Voices from Russia

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Serbia Opposed to “Reduction of Mandate” for EULEX in Kosovo

00.0e cats at war. French. Kosovo. 2001


On Monday, at the Patriarchate of Peć, Aleksandar Vulin, the Minister without Portfolio for Kosovo and Metohija, said, “The rumours about the reduction of the international community‘s mandate in Kosovo constitute a reason for concern. The Serbian government is against such moves”. Vulin expressed concern over the announcements of cuts in the number of soldiers of the international forces “at the holiest sites, which were targeted by violence and constant attacks and other expressions of hatred”. He said that the rumours about the reduction of EULEX troops in the south and the reduction of the international community’s mandate are very worrying, and added that Belgrade is against such moves. He emphasised that EULEX came to the area in accordance with a decision of the UN Security Council and only a decision of the UN Security Council can change it. Vulin noted, “A potential change in the mandate of EULEX isn’t an issue Priština can unilaterally decide on, this is a matter on which a decision can be made only by the body in keeping with whose will EULEX came to the area in the first place”.

15 October 2013




Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Patriarch Irinej: Kosovo Serbs Should Turn Out and Vote in Local Elections… Serves Liturgy at Patriarchate of Peć

00 Serbian Church in Kosovo


On Monday, Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović said that Kosovo Serbs should turn out for the upcoming local elections. He asked them to vote for the best amongst them, for “men of authority”. Irinej said that it’d be “tragic if Serbs boycotted the vote and failed to form governments in regions where they make up the majority. If Serbs are in a position to vote, let them vote for the best amongst them, for the men of renown and authority, whose word would mean something. Given that our people lack unity, the Serb turnout in the elections should be ‘all or none’, as only that can prove salutary and useful”. Patriarch Irinej served liturgy for the feastday of the SPC Patriarchate of Peć… the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God.


The Patriarchate of Peć marked its feastday… the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God… with a liturgy served by Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović along with Bishop Teodosije Šibalić of Raska and Prizren. Patriarch Irinej said that the Patriarchate of Peć means much to the Serbian people as it is a spiritual centre, the historic seat of the Serbian Patriarchs, and the center from which the Serbian people was always spoken to. Commenting on the position of the Serbian holy site, which is guarded by members of the Kosovo police rather than KFOR, Patriarch Irinej said that the people and the Church would survive in this area regardless of who’s guarding the monastery, saying, “If they perform their duty honourably, we’ll be thankful, but we’ll be here regardless of who’s standing at the gate”. KFOR soldiers secured the Patriarchate of Peć since June 1999, but as of 19 August, a multiethnic unit of the Kosovo police in charge of preservation of cultural and religious sites in Kosovo-Metohija took over the task. Now, KFOR soldiers in the province are securing only Visoki Dečani Monastery.

14 October 2013





Sunday, 18 March 2012

Russia to Help Repair Holy Places in Kosovo


Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia allocated 2 million USD (58.5 million Roubles. 1.52 million Euros. 1.26 million UK Pounds) from the state budget for the restoration of Orthodox holy places in Kosovo damaged by Albanian extremists. He also emphasised that the restoration of Serbia’s spiritual heritage would take place under UNESCO’s auspices.

Today, the sum allocated by the Russian state is of even greater importance. Indeed, very soon, on 24 March 24, the world will mark a tragic anniversary, 13 years since the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Then, in 1999, the air raids killed more than 2,500 Serbs, and the number of wounded exceeded 13,000. The bombing destroyed many Serbian holy places, both churches and monasteries. However, in subsequent years, Albanian separatists in Kosovo and Metohija destroyed even more Orthodox churches and monasteries.

Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board, said, “Russian assistance in helping to restore the holy places is of great spiritual and historical significance. Four of the sites are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They weren’t destroyed, but they do need extensive rehabilitation. Today, UNESCO completed its search for firms to engage in this restoration project. All the sites involved belong to the Orthodox Church. The Serbs are an Orthodox nation, and the cultural and spiritual monuments in Kosovo are the foundation and the cradle of the Serbian nation. Therefore, the allocation of the funds needed for reconstruction is of great importance, both in terms of relations between our countries, and in terms of the spiritual rebirth of the modern Serbian nation. The Serbs always think well of Russia, seeing it as the defender of their interests”.

The MP supported the Russian initiative to allocate significant funds to restore the Serbian spiritual and cultural legacy in Kosovo. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP Department of External Church Relations, said, “The MP will also help our brothers in Kosovo. We spoke with our counterparts in the SPC, and they told us that they’d like some of our monks and nuns to come and help them. At least on a temporary basis… that is, for a one, two, or three-year period… this would help to support their monasteries. For example, the Peć Patriarchate, where the enthronement of the Serbian Patriarch took place, is now a convent. Its Igumena is ninety years old, and her sisterhood is small. Of course, our monastics could provide assistance to keep these monasteries in proper shape”.

In addition to direct financial assistance, Russia will send architects, engineers, designers, engineers, and art historians to Kosovo. These experts aren’t only going to assess the extent of the damage; they’re going to begin restoration work on damaged sites.

16 March 2012

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service


Friday, 14 October 2011

Patriarch Irinej Called On Northern Kosovo Serbs to Stand Firm in Fighting For Their Rights

Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović (1930- ), the First Hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church


On Friday, Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović, the First Hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), backed the right of northern Kosovo Serbs to self-defence by putting up roadblocks. He called on the local Serbian population to persist in the fight for their rights. Earlier today, the Patriarch served liturgy at the Patriarchate of Peć, located in western parts of the province. The spiritual leader of Serbian Orthodox Christians was in Kosovo for the holyday of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, which is one of the medieval SPC monastery’s patron saint days. In a statement for reporters after the service, Irinej called on northern Kosovo Serbs to stand firm until “the strongmen come to realise that Serbs will defend their country and that they’ll put up barricades on their own land, in order to protect their homes in areas where they’ve been living for centuries”.

14 October 2011



Editor’s Note:

Irinej’s defying the USA and the EU, which means that he’s got tacit Russian support for his stance. No doubt, Vova has given him the green light in this. It could also mean that opposition to the EU’s solidifying in Serbia. Let’s see how things develop…


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