The Slovenia Times

Russian Chapel Hailed as Symbol of Peace at Annual Commemoration


Prime minister Miro Cerar, his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, and former Slovenian President Milan Kučan remembered 100 years since the outbreak of the Isonzo Front, which claimed more than one million victims of different nationalities and religions.

This is why Cerar, the honorary sponsor of the event, dedicated today's annual commemoration to all victims of the Isonzo Front, for the supply of which the Russian POWs, who died there in 1916, were building the road for the Austro-Hungarians.

He labelled the chapel "a witness of one of the tragic chapters in human history" which would keep reminding us of are duties. Its message is "a message of peace" and peace was a major responsibility of all of us.

That the chapel, "a memorial of the absurdity of war", is still there proves that honest emotions of unity of our Slavic ancestors live on, even if states and social systems have changed in the meantime, stressed Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev, the highest Russian official to date to attend the Russian Chapel ceremony, underscored that "while we are united by glorious history, we must also think about future".

Addressing the event on behalf of the Slovenia-Russia Association, one of the main organisers of the event, ex-Slovenian President Milan Kučan stressed war and fear were unacceptable means of settling conflicts. "Europe must raise its voice for mutual solidarity and responsibility, for peace and cooperation."

The ceremony, held under the Vršič mountain pass in the Julian Alps, was attended by a number of senior officials, including President Borut Pahor, Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, anf Economic Relations and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.

Speaker Milan Brglez and President of the National Council Mitja Bervar were also there and so was a strong delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, led by first deputy of the Moscow Patriarchate, Bishop Savva of Voskresensk.

While Medvedev and Cerar have already meet briefly before the commemoration, official talks with Cerar and Speaker Brglez are scheduled for tomorrow, while tonight the Russian official will meet President Pahor for a tete-a-tete over dinner.


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