Ukraine has not proved its rights to the icon, which was presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by the chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Milorad Dodik. This was reported by the SRNA agency with reference to the press service of Dodik.
“We applied to the Ukrainian Embassy in BiH through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Council of Ministers, but so far we have not received any evidence on which the claims of this country can be based that the icon is its cultural heritage, it is not on the list of stolen artifacts either,” – the agency quotes a statement from the press service.
The same publication says that the ambassador of BiH brought the icon returned by the Russian side back to East Sarajevo. The fact that Russia had returned it became known on December 23.
Earlier, the Dodik administration explained the origin of the icon donated to Lavrov. It is noted that this is a consecrated home icon. Also, the administration stressed that it was not stolen. The statement states that the incorrect information about the icon arose after an erroneous initial presentation in the media.
On December 17, the Ukrainian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina sent a note to Sarajevo demanding to urgently provide information about the icon presented to Lavrov, as well as to facilitate her immediate return to her homeland. “The embassy claims that the icon is a cultural benefit of Ukraine,” announced Bosnia and Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Bissera Turkovic.
A gilded Orthodox icon from Lugansk during the Russian Empire was presented to Lavrov by the head of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik. On the back of the relic there is a seal with the inscription “People's Commissar of Education of the Ukrainian SSR”.