Bishop Joanikije: “Our people will never take the side of Russia's enemies”

Berane, January 30, 2015

Greeting the Russian ambassador to Montenegro Andrei Nesterenko at the festive event dedicated to the Holy Hierarch Sava of Serbia in the town of Bijelo Polje, Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Niksic stressed that his pious flock would never support the anti-Russian sanctions and would not take the side of its enemies.

The hierarch noted he was very happy that the Russian ambassador was present at the festival and could see for himself how “the nation of St. Sava” loves Russia.

The days of St. Sava by tradition are taking place in the Budimlja and Niksic Diocese and other dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the territory of Montenegro on a large scale. These festivities are very significant for the Church as they help preserve the centuries-old spiritual culture and the Orthodox identity of its flock.

The Montenegrin official authorities, unlike those of neighboring Serbia, in every possible way are trying to diminish the importance of St. Sava’s heritage and do not arrange any official celebrations on his feast-day. But the Church commemorates his memory for several days and organizes a wide range of meetings and cultural events.


Last year Montenegro officially joined the sanctions against Russia. In May 2014 the President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović stated that Montenegro agreed with the Council of Europe resolution on Russia because, he believed, Montenegro, as a country wishing to join the EU, must share the foreign policy of the EU and NATO.

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