Fund raising for Russian church restoration in Belgrade

MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) -- A new page in the history of fraternal Russian-Serb ties was added by a charitable evening held to raise funds for the St. Trinity church in Belgrade which had been damaged in a NATO bombing. The charitable fund-raising event was held in the Russian culture fund in Moscow on Monday evening.

President of the Russian Culture Fund film director and actor Nikita Mikhalkov said in his address to the capacity audience, "Recalling today the role played by the ages-old fraternity of the Russians and the Serbs in the history of the Russianofficers, emigrants, we can explain its roots with one word -- Orthodoxy. There will be no future for our peoples, if we fail to return to the roots. Real spirituality is impossible without the force of Orthodoxy, without culture."

nikita Mikhalkov donated 2.5 thousand dollars of his own money to restore the compound of the Russian Orthodox church in Belgrade.. Other donations were made by the New York chapter of the Russian cadets, three domestic companies and some private individuals.

The priest of the Russian representation in Belgrade, Father Vitaly Tarasyev thanked for the assistance given to the church. Asked by Itar-Tass whether "the attitude of the Serbs to the Russians changed after this war", Father Vitaly responded with confidence, "No. the attitude to the Russian people did not change."

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