After the message of the chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik that they will return the icon to Ukraine only when they prove that they asked for it before he gave it to the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov, a reaction arrived from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
“Ukraine does not accept the language of the ultimatum on the return of the icon from Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said the spokesman of the Ukrainian diplomacy, Oleg Nikolenko, Klix
According to him, the affiliation of the ancient icon to Ukraine is an indisputable fact, and the Prosecutor’s Office of that country has already initiated criminal proceedings in connection with the illegal export of the relic.
“We expect that the Bosnian side will not use the icon in the domestic political struggle, but will provide assistance within the criminal investigation and expertise and in its return to Ukraine,” Nikolenko said.
He stressed that Ukraine and BiH are signatories to the Convention on Measures against the Smuggling of Cultural Property.
This means that it is forbidden to import relics stolen from museums or churches, and at the request of another country party to the convention, steps must be taken to return the cultural property.