The Russian Orthodox Church is at one with Serbs

Moscow, February 19, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church expressed its solidarity with Orthodox believers in Serbia on declaration of Kosovo's independence.

Mitropolit Kiril "We share grief and sufferings of Serbian people who are deprived of a historical part of their country connected with the history of spiritual, cultural and national life of Serbian people," head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad has said at an Interfax press conference.

He added he was an opponent of force decision of the problem. ‘Russia had radically reacted to the Balkans events in 1914 and then we lost our own country," the metropolitan said.

"We are in sympathy with Serbian people, with the Serbian Church. We must find the way and funds to express our solidarity. It's absolutely clear that Russia's sympathy exceeds sympathy of any other country. Russia has expressed its solidarity with Serbian people and continues to do it," he stressed.

Metropolitan Kirill also said that the Russian Orthodox Church backs up the position of the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church and would make an official statement on situation in Kosovo. According to him, separation of Kosovo from Serbia may prompt a further parade of sovereignties worldwide.

"If under some circumstances the principle which underlies all international relations can be reviewed and dismantled in one case, then there will certainly be a temptation to review and dismantle it in another case," the DECR head said.

He shares the opinion that "an abnormal event" has taken place in the history of international relations. "This is a truly historical event in a sense that we will count the European and world history before and after Kosovo," he said.

According to him, "the well-established international consensus has been broken."

Metropolitan Kirill noted that the whole international policy was built around unity and territorial integrity, and it was this principle, which formed the foundation of the Helsinki process.

"This principle has been broken right before our eyes," the Moscow Patriarchate official said.