Moscow, December 23, Interfax - Russia has handed the icon presented to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sarajevo to the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"On December 23, the icon was handed over to the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Moscow in agreement with the donator. We advised our partners, however, to apply available legal mechanisms to find out all the circumstances of this matter, including the origin of the aforesaid artifact," the Russian Foreign Ministry told reporters.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that the presented icon would be returned so that the donators could find out its origin through Interpol.
It was reported on December 18 that the Ukrainian embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina had sent a note to Sarajevo, demanding that the 300-year-old icon allegedly originating from Lugansk be returned. Kiev asked Sarajevo to provide information about the relic and swiftly return it home. Kiev claims that it is part of Ukrainian cultural heritage.