2010-08-12 17:31:00

Moscow concerned about future of Serb shrines in Kosovo

Moscow, August 12, Interfax - The handover of Kosovo's Serbian shrines under the control of the territory's government may fuel tensions in the region, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrey Nesterenko.

"We share the fears of the Serbian government and Orthodox Church that such plans could incite additional security concerns and tensions, and provoke misgiving among Serbs about the international peacekeeping force's readiness to perform its duties," Nesterenko said in answers to reporters' questions posted on the ministry's website.

Earlier reports said that the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) plans to hand over its function of guarding the most prominent objects of Serbian cultural and religious heritage on the territory to the Kosovo police.

"The KFOR decision, made without the consent of the Serbian Church, is a menace to the Serb monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija many of which are on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and to the Serb Orthodox Church's activities in the territory," Nesterenko said.

Hopefully, the situation surrounding the Serb shrines in Kosovo will be tackled in dialogue with Belgrade and the Serbian Orthodox Church, he added.