03 October 2006

Orthodox Faith and Serbia

Awareness of Kosovo’s importance preserved Serbian national identity
Oct 3, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said today following talks with Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov that Kosovo-Metohija has been Serbia’s defence line through its history because the awareness of the importance of Kosovo-Metohija has preserved the national identity of Serbs.

Kostunica presented the Serbian flag to Mikhalkov on the occasion, saying that this is the reason why Kosovo-Metohija is naturally woven into the symbols of Serbia – her coat-of-arms and her flag, adding that now again the time has come under different circumstances for Serbia to defend Kosovo-Metohija.The Serbian Prime Minister stressed that the plan is to prove with all possible arguments – legal, political, historical, moral and even artistic ones that Kosovo-Metohija’s place is only within Serbia, and added that Mikhalkov is in Belgrade precisely for that reason. We are encouraged by the official position of Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Kosovo-Metohija and the necessity of respecting the foundations of international order, territorial integrity and sovereignty of existing states. Today a friend is with us who will in another manner, through artistic expression will confirm that, said Kostunica. He also recalled that we have heard repeatedly from the Russian President that this is a rule that bears no exceptions.Mikhalkov said that for him, as an Orthodox Christian, Kosovo-Metohija represents in a certain sense one of the beating hearts of the Orthodox faith, and added that defending Kosovo-Metohija is not just defence of territorial integrity, but also defence of the future, of the Orthodox faith and panslavism as a whole.He stressed that he has no right to speak in the name of the Russian government because he is not an official representative of his country, nor can he interfere or in any way or influence the question of the referendum or the territorial integrity of other countries, but he can react as an “Orthodox Christian and Russian artist”.
The Balkan region was always the key to Europe. And Kosovo-Metohija, therefore, is the key to Europe. The Orthodox faith which is going through a renaissance also bothers many in Russia who want Russia to disintegrate. The world order cannot be liberal, it demands strict adherence in order to rule, and such an order is bothered by the very existence of the Orthodox faith, said Mikhalkov.He said that our understanding of the essence and depth of the problem is important, and added that Kosovo-Metohija is the first test for judging how real our understanding of this problem is.If their plan for Kosovo-Metohija becomes a reality, it will mean that they can go further. I think this is the beginning of the destruction of the international balance of power, not the economic or military one, rather the spiritual balance, and that is what is most terrifying, concluded Mikhalkov. Kostunica and Mikhalkov also talked about the works of the Russian Orthodox director, whose films, outside Russia, are most popular in Serbia.Mikhalkov said that currently he is working on two projects – a remake of the American film “12 Angry Men” by Sidney Lumet, but with a Russian theme, while the other project is a sequel to his well known film “Burnt by the Sun”, which will be finished by 2008.