Republic of Srpska is a state, patriarch says

Republic of Srpska is a state, patriarch says

Belgrade, October 20, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Milos Mitrovic

The Republic of Srpska (RS) is “a Serbian state created in our time”, Serbian Orthodox Church patriarch Irinej said late on Monday. Talking at the manifestation “Days of Srpska in Serbia” in Novi Sad, patriarch added that Bosnian entity which was not proclaimed nor internationally recognized as the state “was created to gather Serbian people and become the factor of peace in this region”.

“This is in our character, in our culture and history because we have never conquered the territories of others, but rather defended our own. The Republic of Srpska exists and will exist for the joy of entire Serbianhood”, patriarch Irinej underlined.

The Drina River, along the border between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, does not separate but rather “unites Serbian people from both sides”, metropolitan Irinej of Backa said. In his words, it may be said that “RS and Serbia are one entirety and represent essential unity and mutual organic belonging to the entire orthodox world”.

On the other hand, “this period shows there are no mutual European values”, Irinej of Backa said.

“The barbwires and walls are being erected in order to prevent the entrance of miserable refugees. For the Serbs from the both sides of Drina, there is no border that could separate us”, he concluded.

Last week patriarch Irinej said that Church supports Serbian path to European Union, but stated that Serbia cannot give up from Kosovo. “We cannot sacrifice Kosovo because of the Europe because it (Kosovo) is priceless”, patriarch said after meeting with Prime Minister AleksandarVucic.

He referred to alleged EU demand that Serbia should recognize Kosovo in order to become a member. Namely, Serbian officials claimed that during the recent Brussels dialogue with Pristina representatives Belgrade was under pressure to accept recognizing Kosovo “directly or indirectly” before Serbia eventually enters EU. But EU officials denied there was such claim.

The Church is also sympathetic with current protest in Montenegro, where opposition demands the resignation of PM Milo Djukanovic. The Church is also opposed to Montenegro’s joining NATO. Montenegro expects invitation for membership later this year.