"The last Serbs are being driven out from Kosovo. I know what the situation is like there.There are no refugees coming back to Kosovo. And you can't guarantee them security and a civilized existence on that territory'', Vladimir Putin said in an interview to " Le Monde'', in occasion of his first visit to France as Prime Minister.
Mr. Putin reacted to a question related to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the journalist called "separatis regions", by saying: "You said separatist? Why didn't you use this word about Kosovo?" "You cannot answer, and this is because you do not have an answer," Putin continued.
When the journalist remarked that "in Abkhazia, it was
the Georgians who had been ethnically cleansed, while in Kosovo, the situation
was quite the opposite since it was the Albanians that were exposed to this
practice", Putin answered that the two things were "not at all
opposite" and that "thousands of Serbs can't return to Kosovo. Hundreds of
thousands. It's exactly the same. Where did you see refugees coming back to
Kosovo? Nothing similar is happening" he continued. "Don't tell me
stories, I know what is really going on there."
From: Lj. Milinčić
Head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper, presented a message by Pope of Rome Benedict XVI to Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II on Thursday. He told the Patriarch he was glad to meet him and to hand over the Pontiff's message. The cardinal also voiced hope that the meeting would promote further contacts between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. "The Orthodox-Catholic dialogue is necessary," Alexy II said. The two Churches have similar positions on many modern problems, among them morals, social and family relations, human rights and bio-ethics.
His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymus II met the president of PASOK, Mr. G. Papandreou, at his Parliament office. Their meeting lasted for more than an hour. After their meeting His Beatitude, referred to the collaboration he had with Mr. Papandreou as a Metropolite when Mr. Papandreou was the Minister of Education. He underlined that their collaboration was very fruitful. He also stated that he has recorded and continues to record the problems from the Church's point of view and added that the society and the Church will collaborate as far as culture and social welfare are concerned, since both the Church and society fight for man's wellbeing. He also stated that he was very satisfied with the conversation he had with Mr. Papandreou.
The EU should give more attention to the problem of destruction of Orthodox sanctuaries in Kosovo and Metochia23. May 2008 - 7:49
The European Union should address the destruction of Orthodox sanctuaries in Kosovo with much more attention, the new Russian minister of Culture Alexander Avdeyev believes. "I saw destroyed churches, museums, and desecrated sanctuaries in Kosovo, and, of cause, I find it impossible to stay indifferent, whether it concerns the Moslem or the Orthodox religion. Most of the sanctuaries destroyed in Kosovo are Orthodox. UNESCO sounds the alarm, but more often than not receives no adequate reaction from the EU," said the minister, as quoted by the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Thursday.
The Russian Orthodox Church is concerned that some missionaries don't observe the law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations as they conceal their confession, Interfax-Religion reports. "The Russian law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations clearly reads: "Name of the religious organization should contain information on its confession. Religious organization should indicate its full title when carrying out its activities," Vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin writes in his Scraps essays published by the Pravoslavnaya Moskva paper.