Head of Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik stated that the icon presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would be returned to Ukraine only when Kyiv proves that it was searched earlier as Radio Svoboda Evropa reported.
“If Ukraine proves that it has started to search for the icon before the date of my meeting with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, I will pass it to them,” Dodik stated.
According to him, the Ukrainian side did not respond to requests on data and results of the searches.
“A case in point is the icon that causes constant talks; however, Ukraine does not look for it. There is the application of the law enforcement agency in BiH that is responsible for cooperation with Interpol that Interpol does not possess information about the searching of an icon,” Dodik stated.
Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov visited the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 14. Two members of the presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina refused from the meeting with Lavrov. The same day, Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb representative in Bosnia’s three-member presidency, presented a 300-year-old gilded icon to Lavrov. Later, Lavrov returned the icon.
Ukraine’s Embassy in Sarajevo asked Bosnian authorities to provide further information about the artifact after the Bosnian Serb news agency Srna published a photograph of the icon and its seal of authenticity, which suggested it could be from the city of Luhansk, where pro-Russian separatists have been battling Kyiv’s forces.
In its turn, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina opened the criminal case due to the icon incident to hold necessary inspections.
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