20 February 2008, 18:04
Head of Russian Church slams Kosovo independence
Moscow, February 20, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has slammed Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence.
Kosovo's independence, declared on Sunday, "is an anti-historic event that upsets the global balance and that may lead to very tragic events in a whole series of spots on the globe where separatist sentiments are being fanned," Alexy said answering questions from journalists in Moscow on Wednesday.
Alexy II cited himself as saying in a speech at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in October 2007 that advocates of independence for Kosovo were "people who had never been to Kosovo, didn't know the history of that land, and didn't know what Kosovo means to the Serbs."
The Battle of Kosovo in June 1389 was "a battle for the existence of the Serb people," the patriarch said. He mentioned that the battle took place nine years after the Battle of Kulikovo, which ended Tatar-Mongol rule in Russia.
Alexy II also said that a tremendous number of Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo that are "a part of general European heritage" and are under UNESCO patronage "were and are being destroyed."
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