The first planeload of Russian humanitarian aid has arrived in Belgrade for delivery to the Serb minority in Kosovo.
The relief flights were ordered by President Putin after a request by the Serbian government.
Distribution will be carried out by the Serbian Red Cross.
"A plane left this morning at 0900 (0500 GMT) for Belgrade, with 40 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including baby food. It is for the Serbian population of Kosovo," said Veronika Smolskaya, of Russia's emergency situations ministry.
"We are planning more flights for a total of 140 tonnes of aid," she added.
Mr Putin had ordered the deliveries in March, after the Serbian government requested food, medicine and medical equipment.
Source: BBC NEWS Europe
WELLINGTON (19 March 2008) In a letter of the same date addressed to the Right Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Zealand and Exarchate of Oceana, applauded the decision of the Government of New Zealand not to recognize the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence.
This Sunday commemorates the venerable Cross and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Cross as such takes on meaning and adoration because of the Crucifixion of Christ upon it. Therefore, whether it be in hymns or prayers, it is understood that the Cross without Christ has no meaning or place in Christianity. The adoration of the Cross in the middle of Great Lent is to remind the faithful in advance of the Crucifixion of Christ.
The Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metropolitan Detroit (COCC) will conduct the fifth and last in its 2008 series of Lenten Vespers services at 6 p.m. on April 13, the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, at St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church, Troy.
The Very Rev. Roman Star of St. Innocent of Irkutsk Orthodox Church, Redford, spiritual advisor to the COCC and president of the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of St. John Chrysostom of Metropolitan Detroit, will preside at the service, assisted by other members of the Clergy Brotherhood.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will preside at the Three Year Memorial Service for Archbishop Iakovos, former Archbishop of North and South America, on Sunday, April 6, 2008 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, NY.
The Memorial Service will take place after the Divine Liturgy and before the Doxology commemorating Greek Independence Day, March 25, 1821, in the presence of Greek and American Government officials, State and City representatives, members of the diplomatic corps and various Greek-American organizations who will participate in the Greek Independence Day Parade on 5th Avenue immediately following the Service.
Representatives of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches have stated an improvement in relations between Orthodox and Catholic believers in Russia. A joint group on problems separating the two branches of Christianity convened in Vladimir. It underlined the importance of exchanging information between the two Churches and stated a better climate in the information sphere and the prevalence of a respectful and kind attitude between Orthodox and Catholic believers.