Home Page
news 17 Nov 11

Kosovo Serbs Urged to Emigrate to Russia

A petition signed by thousands of Kosovo Serbs seeking Russian citizenship has prompted some leading Russian officials to suggest that they should move "en bloc" to Russia and help ease its demographic problems.

Bojana Barlovac Belgrade

A petition by Kosovo Serbs, seeking Russian citizenship, has drawn an enthusiastic from some top Russian officials who have said Kosovo Serbs should consider emigrating there.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has started reviewing a petition by Kosovo Serbs to be allowed to take out Russian citizenship in order to guarantee their security in the Albanian-dominated country.

Zlatibor Djordjevic, representative of the association called "Old Serbia" from central Kosovo municipality of Gracanica, handed the request to the Russian embassy on Monday on behalf of more than 21,000 Serbs.   

Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said on Wednesday that Kremlin understands the request and Moscow will consider it seriously.

"In political terms we fully understand the motives of Serbs from Kosovo in submitting such a request and we will carefully study it," Russia's DPA quoted him as saying.

But Dmitry Rogozin, Russian ambassador to NATO, added a new note to the discussion by suggesting that the Kosovo Serbs might want to emigrate to Russia and fill a useful demographic hole.

An exodus of Serbs to Russia would represent "a treasure" for his country which is experiencing "great demographic problems", he said.

Russia's population is expected to fall sharply in coming decades as a consequence of emigration and low birth rates.

According to Rogozin, Kosovo Serbs would easily adapt to their new surroundings, "and there should be no issues with employment".

"Serbs from Kosovo should be accepted as part of the program of repatriation of Russians [from abroad]," he said.

"Serbs are not foreigners to us. This is a nation that can find a second homeland in Russia and precisely because of that the repatriation program should be applied [to them]," he told news agency Interfax.

Rogozin said Russian political parties could start by helping to organize the transfer and accommodation of Serbs in appropriate regions.

"I cannot imagine the opposite - how could Russia turn down such a request?" he asked.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation was among the first to stand in the support of the idea.

"We should satisfy their request [for passports] and my party will support it, if it enters the Duma," Serbia's daily Vecernje Novosti quoted Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist leader, as saying.

Meanwhile, the Russian Federal migration service said that Kosovo Serbs can obtain Russian identity cards, but a decision on citizenship is up to President Dmitri Medvedev.

Serbia and Russia have long had close political and economic relations. Many Serbs view Russia as a "big brother" and both peoples belong to the same Orthodox branch of Christianity.

Russia is a strong diplomatic ally of Serbia's and has been its most vocal champion on the issue of Kosovo, fiercely denouncing Kosovo's independence, proclaimed in 2008.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

actions-not-words-will-thaw-kosovo-serbia-relations-08-17-2017 Comment 17 Aug 17 Actions, Not Words, Will Thaw Kosovo-Serbia Relations

Recent statements from Belgrade offer fresh hope for lasting reconciliation between Serbia and Kosovo – but warm words need to be backed up by concrete actions.

albanian-pm-rama-praises-vucic-s-kosovo-initiative-08-15-2017 News 15 Aug 17 Albanian PM Rama Praises Vucic’s Kosovo Initiative

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said he was "moved" by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s resolve to launch an 'internal dialogue' in Serbia about Kosovo.

what-kosovo-can-t-expect-from-vucic-s-call-for-dialogue-08-14-2017 Comment 14 Aug 17 What Kosovo Can(’t) Expect from Vucic’s Call for Dialogue

Far from signalling a new era in Serbia-Kosovo relations, Vucic’s recent call to ‘get real’ on the issue could lead to attempts to redraw borders.

serbian-minister-dacic-wants-solution-for-kosovo-08-14-2017 News 14 Aug 17 Serbian FM Suggests ‘Compromise’ Solution for Kosovo

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said he had a compromise proposal for dividing up what belongs to Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo in order to normalise relations and avoid conflict.

vucic-raises-questions-on-serbian-constitutional-amendments-08-10-2017 News 11 Aug 17 Serbia’s Vucic Sparks Intrigue over Constitution Changes

Serbia must amend its constitution to allow judicial reform, but President Vucic’s comment that there is no “courage” for this caused rumours that constitutional changes in Belgrade’s Kosovo policy might be under consideration too.

kosovo-serb-party-to-support-pan-coalition-candidate-08-08-2017 News 08 Aug 17 Kosovo Serb MPs to Support PAN Coalition Candidate

Ethnic Serb MPs will support the PAN coalition’s candidate for Kosovo parliament speaker, but that does not mean they will join the coalition led by the party of President Hashim Thaci.

might-vucic-become-serbia-s-de-gaulle-on-kosovo--08-01-2017 Comment 01 Aug 17 Might Vucic Become Serbia’s de Gaulle on Kosovo?

The Serbian President’s recent words on Kosovo invite intriguing comparisons with those of another nationalist in another time.

vucic-s-comment-on-kosovo-a-welcome-turn-of-serbia-s-policy-07-24-2017 news 24 Jul 17 Kosovo FM Welcomes Vucic's Plan to Resolve Relations with Pristina

Kosovo's Foreign Minister, a former president and others have welcomed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic's call for a new spirit of 'realism' on the issue of Kosovo.

serbia-covers-kosovo-s-billion-euro-debt-07-11-2017 News 12 Jul 17 Serbia Pays Off Kosovo’s Billion Euro Debt

Although Kosovo fought to break away from Serbia in 1999 and proclaimed independence in 2008, Serbia continues to pay off its foreign debt because it considers the former province a part of its own territory.

kosovo-mines-injured-demand-compensation-from-serbia-06-22-2017 news 22 Jun 17 Kosovo Landmine Victims Demand Serbia Pay Compensation

Kosovo’s Association of Mine-Injured Civilians asked Serbia to pay compensation to people injured in landmine blasts during and after the war, and called on the Pristina government to raise the issue in Brussels.