BELGRADE — Aleksandar Vulin says threats and protests in front of the Serb medieval monastery Visoki Dečani were an attempt to complete the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
According to the director of the Government’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija, they also aimed to remove any evidence of the existence of Serbs there.
Vulin thanked members of the Italian KFOR contingent, “without whom the monastery would most probably have been burnt down”, noting that this was the fifth attack on Visoki Dečani since the 1999 NATO bombing campaign.
The remaining Serbs in Dečani are monks of the monastery, so this is just another attempt to complete the ethnic cleansing that started with the bombing campaign, Vulin told Tanjug.
“It is incomprehensible that some court in Kosovo, which the Albanian side deems legitimate, delivers a verdict, and that verdict is not valid because it is in Serbs’ favour. It is evident that apartheid rules in Kosovo and Metohija, where there are interim institutions from Priština, according to which there are no laws for Serbs, for their property, for the Church and its assets,” Vulin said.
The gates of the Visoki Dečani monastery, which is under UNESCO protection, were closed on Friday due to threats coming from ethnic Albanians – municipal leaders “and extremists”, Tanjug is reporting. Access to the monastery was blocked by strong police forces and KFOR troops, including Italian Carabinieri.
According to a release issued by the Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Raška-Prizren, the Visoki Dečani monastery decided to close its gates to all visitors due to threats from Dečani municipal leadership and from groups which have been protesting in the town against the monastery for days, after a court upheld the monastery’s property rights.