26 May 2008, 14:29
Russia supposes to assign 2,000,000 dollars to restore Kosovo shrines
Moscow, May 26, Interfax - Russian authorities may assign about 2, 000, 000 dollars to restore Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo.
Today Russian Foreign Ministry only works out a possibility of Russia's participation in restoration of Kosovo shrines in frames of the UNESCO project, Interfax-Religion has reported.
"Russian government should study our project first. If it is approved, a leading team of officials from specialized ministries will be send to Kosovo. They will define what sites Russia is to restore," executive secretary of the National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Grigory Orjonikidze is quoted as saying by the Ogonyok magazine on Monday.
According to him, only then the exact sum to be assigned from the state budget will be declared. It is approximately 2,000,000 dollars.
"Then Russian architects, engineers and fine art experts will visit Kosovo. We will act in frames of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and UN mission in Kosovo. By the way, some countries have already allotted money for this project, for example, Greece and the USA," Orjonikidze said.
Deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin commented on the Russian initiative and said that "it is the matter of honor to help suffering Orthodox Christians in Kosovo."
"No doubt, several thousands of Russian churches also should be restored. But Kosovo churches are a different matter. We all remember how radicals in Kosovo defiantly destroyed crosses and cupolas, shot at the icons, burnt and blew up the churches only to wipe out the memory of Serb spiritual heritage," the priest noted.
According to him, Russia has always helped Orthodox churches abroad - in the Holy Land, in Western Europe, in America, on the Balkans "and they are grateful to this country up to day. Now Kosovo needs our help."
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