BELGRADE, July 29. /TASS/. The Serbian Orthodox Church will never officially recognize the Province of Kosovo and Metohija as an independent state, Metropolitan bishop of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije said in an interview with TASS.
"The church has never accepted and will never accept Kosovo’s independence or partition options, this is the church’s position. It is unacceptable for the church to abandon Decani, Gracanica and Pec [Orthodox holy places in Kosovo and Metohija — TASS]. It is for [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vucic that there is nothing there, just buildings where no one lives. He believes that there is nothing in Kosovo and Metohija, and if there is nothing there, then where is it? All our historic existence and modernity is there," the Metropolitan stated.
According to the cleric, the situation in Kosovo is dire not just for Serbs but for Kosovars as well. "Those who seized power in Kosovo are a disgrace to the whole respectable Albanian nation. They devastated their own people, nowadays Albanians are fleeing Kosovo and Metohija en masse. They are under threat there in moral and physical sense, they live off drug trafficking, the crimes committed there are unthinkable. If the EU gives them visas, and I believe it should be done, they will all leave."
In the past year, Belgrade and Pristina were actively discussing a compromise decision relating to adjustment of borders and exchange of territories. The United States was supporting this idea, insisting on a final agreement, which would envision adjustment of the border between Serbia and the partially recognized republic. In turn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed the proposal to change the borders in the Balkans, underlining that all the countries in the region have prospects to join the European community as it is.
The proposals to split the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija along the ethnic lines (leave the areas where Kosovars dominate under Pristina’s control and transfer the north of Kosovo, where Serbs still live, to Belgrade) were already out forward before that. However, in response to these proposals Pristina demanded that the territorial approach be implemented not only in relation to Kosovo, but also to other territories of Serbia, including the southern Serbian municipalities on the border with Kosovo, where Albanians make up a significant part of the population.
In early May, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic admitted that the idea to split Central Serbia with the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija had failed. According to him, this will cost Serbia an arm and a leg in the coming decades. The Serbian leader pointed out that the partition had been opposed both in Serbia and internationally.