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    KOSOVO BISHOP URGES RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES, PUBLIC TO HELP HIS PROVINCE'S SERB POPULATION

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 22, 2004 (from RIA Novosti's Olga Lipich) - Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren, currently visiting Moscow, has urged the Russian government and public to offer a helping hand to the Serb population of Kosovo. His bishopric brings together Kosovo and Metohija, provinces within Serbia and Montenegro.

    In a RIA interview Thursday, His Eminence Artemije said that he greatly appreciated the Andrew the Protokletos Foundation's initiative to arrange summer vacations in Russia for Serb children from Kosovo and Metohija, expressing hope that other public and governmental organizations will follow suit.

    Bishop Artemije said it was greatly important that the situation in those two provinces be discussed time and again at international institutions, such as the UN, the UNESCO, and the PACE. The deployment of the KFOR international peacekeeping force has not brought peace and freedom to all of Kosovo's population, as the relevant UN Security Council resolution envisaged, but only to the Kosovar Albanians, the prelate pointed out. He went on to recall the province's 115 devastated and desecrated Serb cathedrals and cloisters built between the 12th and the 20th centuries. Many of them survived the 500-year-long Ottoman yoke, but came tumbling down after just a year of UN peacekeepers' control, he said emphatically.

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