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Serbo Journal

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Patriarch Alexy speaks

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia urged peoples of Serbia and Montenegro to keep the centuries-old relations between them, in spite of the results of the referendum during which the majority of Montenegrin citizen voted in favour of their republic's independence.

'The Russian Orthodox Church respects the choice of the Orthodox Montenegrin people and wishes them peace and prosperity at this new stage of their development', Patriarch Alexy II says in his address sent to the Serbian Patriarch Pavle as well as to the Serbian President Tadic and Montenegrin President Vujanovic.

The text of the address was published by the Moscow Patriarchate's official website on Friday.

In the same time the Russian Orthodox primate urges state authorities and peoples of Serbia nad Montenegro 'to carefully keep and strengthen the interrelations between them that have shaped through centuries, to continue developing cooperation in the spheres of spirituality, economics, politics, science, culture and other areas of human activity.'

Patriarch Alexy also hopes that recent political changes 'will not challenge the church unity of the two brotherly peoples'. 'The break-up of federative states should not lead to division in Church, which has been witnessed by the example of the countries once making up the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia', the patriarch said. The primate believes that closeness of Serbia and Montenegro as well as their good-neighbourly relations and mutual support will help them 'to make a worthy contribution into the development of the European civilization'.

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