Russia announced on Saturday that it would return an ancient icon to Bosnia that it gave it, after a complaint from Ukraine, so that its provenance can be established with the help of Interpol.
Bosnian Serbian President Milorad Dodik, current in this pivotal post, presented an Orthodox icon to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his visit on Monday, according to local media.
The Ukrainian embassy sent a note asking for an “urgent explanation regarding the possession of their cultural heritage which (…) was given as a gift”, according to the Bosnian foreign ministry.
According to the Bosnian-Serbian news agency SRNA, the golden, 300-year-old icon is from Lugansk, an area in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.
On Saturday, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry told AFP that the icon “will be returned” to Bosnia so that its provenance can be established with the help of Interpol.
Ukraine has been fighting pro-Russian rebels in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, after Russia annexed Russian-speaking Crimea that same year.