BiH Serb Presidency member to Ukraine: Show evidence that icon is yours

Source: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik's Cabinet called on Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to “stop playing games and Twitter diplomacy, and to act in line with international law and conventions which he refers to in his public statements,” Srna news agency said.

Reacting to the “repeated false accusations of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine”, the Cabinet once again called on the Ukrainian side to submit all “valid evidence in accordance with the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property,” as well as to formally declare if they do not have material evidence confirming their allegations.”

“The Cabinet has explicitly requested that the Embassy of Ukraine provide all legally valid facts and evidence confirming that any ownership over the icon belongs to Ukraine, as well as all evidence confirming allegations that the icon in question was stolen, including information on the manner of alienation, time, place and to the owner,” the statement said.

Dodik's Cabinet noted that the Ukrainian Embassy has not provided any such information to date.

Milorad Didok gave the 300-year-old gilded icon to Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister during his December visit to Bosnia. After hearing of this news, the Ukrainian Embassy in Sarajevo sent a note to the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for detailed information on the origin of what it suspects is a piece of Ukrainian cultural heritage. Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture said the icon could have been illegally taken from the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Luhansk by mercenaries.


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