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    GRACANICA, KOSOVO, JANUARY 7, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT OLGA LIPICH/ -- The Serb Orthodox Church will side with its Serb parishes in Kosovo. This was stated by Bishop Artemi of Rasko-Prizren, who heads the Kosovo diocese, at a meeting with a delegation from Russia's St. Andrew foundation. Bishop Artemi met his Russian guests at the ancient Gracanica monastery not far from Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.

    Not a single Serb or Orthodox cathedral would remain, if the Serb Church leaves Kosovo, Bishop Artemi noted.

    In his words, only about 33 percent of all Serbs, who had lived in Kosovo before 1999, are now staying in the region. However, KFOR units were stationed all over Kosovo in 1999, with Serbia virtually losing that territory. The Albanians simply expelled 250,000 Serbs; meanwhile about 130,000 Serbs now live in Kosovo, Bishop Artemi noted.

    In his words, most local areas, cities, in the first place, have been virtually purged of their Serb populations. However, several Serb enclaves still remain; as a matter of fact, Kosovars were unable to expel their Serb communities.

    There is no freedom of movement in Kosovo, Bishop Artemi stressed. The Bishop himself has to ride an armored vehicle.

    Kosovo's Serbs can't work for five consecutive years because they have been forced to leave all local enterprises and institutes, Bishop Artemi went on to say. Serb farmers can't till their land plots because Kosovar attacks become more frequent during field work, Bishop Artemi said in conclusion.

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