POLITICS

Dodik being questioned in the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH

Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik today went to the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, where, according to unconfirmed information, he testified about the circumstances about the Orthodox relic affair. 

The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH did not respond to FENA’s inquiries to confirm this information, Fena writes.

A 300-year-old Ukrainian icon, originally from the occupied city of Luhansk, which has earlier been handed as a gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is estimated at EUR 12.5 million.

The icon was kept in the Banke Srpske deposit until its bankruptcy, and later was deposited with the Lithuanian-owned UKIO bank. It is not known when and how the icon got into the Bosnian bank, as reported by Balkan Observer for Ukraine on Facebook with reference to the Bosnian BN TV channel, Unian writes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik said earlier that he would hand over the icon, which he had previously presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to Ukraine, but only if the Ukrainian authorities prove that they demanded it before their meeting.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed that a meeting between Minister Bisera Turkovic and the Ambassador of Ukraine to BiH will be held. 

It is not yet known at what stage the investigative actions of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH are. Milorad Dodik, the chairman of the BiH Presidency and the main actor in the Icon affair, said that he had never received an answer from Ukraine to the question of whether they were looking for an icon. 

“If Ukraine proves that it asked for the icon before the date when I had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, I will accept to hand it over. However, here it is only important that I be attacked, just like Dragan Covic and his associates. All this speaks enough about the judiciary in BiH, ” he said. 

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today that the country has not yet received evidence that the icon donated to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sarajevo was acquired by the last owner illegally, and the situation around the icon in the media space of Bosnia and Herzegovina is used to discredit Russia. 

“Despite the fact that the Russian side returned the icon to donors through diplomatic channels in order to clarify its origin, unfounded speculations about the fate of the icon, which cast a shadow on Russia, continue to spread in the media space of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a number of other countries,” the ministry said in a statement, reports TAS.

He adds that by spreading insinuations based solely on the assumptions of their authors, “biased” media use this topic for manipulation in order to gain internal political points in BiH and discredit Russia in the eyes of their public. 

They also point out that no evidence has been presented that the last owner of the icon came to it illegally. However, this episode has already become “the subject of cynical manipulations and unfair games in the media space”, it is added, reports TAS S. 

Instead of waiting for the official conclusion of the relevant institutions, as it is added, “unscrupulous journalists spread their own fantasies as reliable information”. A statement from the Russian Ministry states that it is noticeable that some media use the West’sfavorite hobby to look for “Kremlin fingers” everywhere and in everything, and that they are ready to use any, including extremely inadequate excuse to encourage anti-Russian propaganda. 

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