02 June 2006, 16:39
The address of Patriarch Alexy II to Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and Presidents of Serbia and Montenegro
On 28 May 2006 by means of a national referendum the majority of Montenegrin citizens voted in favour of independence of their republic. The Russian Orthodox Church respects the choice of the Orthodox Montenegrin people and wishes them peace and prosperity at this new stage of their development.
At the same time, I would like to urge state authorities of Serbia and Montenegro to carefully keep and strengthen the interrelations between them that have shaped through centuries, to continue developing cooperation in the spheres of spirituality, economics, politics, science, culture and other areas of human activity.
I hope that the recent political changes will not challenge the church unity of the two brotherly peoples. The break-up of federative states should not lead to division in Church, which has been witnessed by the example of the countries once making up the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. I believe that spiritual closeness of Serbia and Montenegro as well as their good-neighbourly relations and mutual support will help them to make a worthy contribution into the development of the European Civilization.
With love in the Lord and sincere best regards,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia