The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine decisively protests against the Russian Orthodox Church’s intention to expropriate part of the historical park Tauric Chersonese, located in the Russian-occupied Crimea. This is mentioned in the message at the ministry’s website.
Last month, the Crimean episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church said it would see that the park would become their belonging. Earlier, in October 2015, the Russian government declared Tauric Chersonese part of this country’s cultural heritage – the decision which the Ukrainian side called a ‘raid’. UNESCO, in turn, also said they do not recognize the object part of Russian cultural heritage.
‘Due to the intention of Crimea and Simferopol episcopates of the Russian Orthodox Church to seize some of the buildings of the Tauric Chersonese historical park, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List… the Ministry sent their Russian counterparts a note of protest,’ the message reads.
Specifically, Ukraine demands that Russia (as the state held responsible for the temporary occupation of Ukrainian territories) live up to its commitments within the international law. ‘The ancient historical park needs special protection, which is envisaged by the respective UNESCO convention of 1972; Russia is one of its signatories,’ says the document.
The Ukrainian side insists that any intrusions or violations of integrity of the cultural heritage objects in the occupied Crimea will be treated as a failure to fulfill its commitments in this area, and as disrespect for historical and cultural heritage of the Russian-occupied territory of Ukraine.