Russia has announced it will return to Bosnia’s Serbian leader Milorak Dodik an icon he gifted to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov after Ukraine protested it was its protected cultural heritage stolen from Ukraine’s Luhansk conflict zone.
Dodik gave the 300-year-old icon to Lavrov during his visit to Sarajevo last week.
Ukraine immediately requested information from the Serbian leader on how he got hold of the icon but received no answer.
Authorities in Ukraine maintain that the icon may have been stolen in the Luhansk region in Ukraine, where rebels backed by Russia have been fighting for more nearly six years. Many Serbs have joined the fight alongside rebels to fight against the Ukrainian authorities.
“The icon will be returned to its donors for further clarification on its history via Interpol,” the Russian Foreign Ministry told journalists on Saturday.