Russian official: Arrival of Serbs would be "repatriation"

MOSCOW -- The possible arrival of Serbs to Russia, says Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, would represent "a treasure" for his country.

Dmitry Rogozin (Tanjug, file)
Dmitry Rogozin (Tanjug, file)

Rogozin spoke after announcements that some Serbs from Kosovo, faced with the ongoing crisis in the province, would seek Russian citizenship.

But the diplomat welcomed even the idea that they might move to his country - which is experiencing "great demographic problems".

Those Serbs would easily adapt to the new surroundings, "and there should be no issues with employment", according to Rogozin.

He also added:

"Serbs from Kosovo should be accepted to the program of repatriation of Russians. 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."

The fact that Serbs turned to Russia to be granted citizenship is testimony that they are desperate because their own country cannot help them, and see Russia as their last hope, continued the envoy.

"Under such circumstances, it is necessary to find out whether these people are ready to move to our country," he told Interfax news agency, adding that it was possible that Serbs from Kosovo would make this request as well, "if there is real physical threat to their lives and families".

Rogozin also believes that Russian political parties can already organize to help with the transfer and accommodation of Serbs to appropriate regions:

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