Russian chief rabbi against Kosovo independence


A chief rabbi of Russia condemned Kosovo’s independence.

Berel Lazar, of the Chabad-led Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, said at a news conference Tuesday that Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia could further contribute to world instability, according to a report by Interfax. He said a “totally wrong approach,” had been taken in deciding Kosovo’s future.

“Today it is Kosovo, tomorrow it will be someone else or Kosovo itself will be divided in two, and there will be no end to this process,” he said.

Kosovo, a province of Serbia that has been administered by the United Nations since the 1999 end of a bloody war between Serbian forces and the majority ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo, declared independence from Serbia on Sunday. Russia, Serbia’s main backer, condemned the move, while the United States and several major Western European powers recognized the new state.

Russia, which has had problems with breakaway regions such as Chechnya, has been fiercely critical of the decision of Western governments to recognize Kosovo.

Lazar’s Federation of Jewish Communities , the largest Jewish communal organization in Russia, often touts its close ties to the Putin administration. Critics have accused the group of advocating for the government in return for favorable treatment.

Recommended from JTA