The Russian Orthodox Church considers it premature to give Ukraine a stolen icon
"As far as I know, there is still no evidence that this icon is the property of Ukraine. I think experts should work here, and if this is (...) a stolen icon, which the donor of this icon might not have known about, then, of course, it should be returned, " Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, said on the Rossiya-24 TV channel, Interfax-Religion reports.
However, if this is not the case, then again, according to the Metropolitan, there should be an expert opinion that will confirm the origin of the icon.
As reported, on December 15, Lavrov paid a working visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the head of its presidium, Milorad Dodik, presented the minister with a gilded icon of the XVIII century.
On December 18, it became known that the Ukrainian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina sent a note to Sarajevo demanding the return of the 300-year-old icon from Luhansk. They demanded to provide information about the relic and facilitate its immediate return to its homeland.
Later, in agreement with the donor, Russia handed over the icon to the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, recommending the use of available legal mechanisms to clarify all the circumstances of this case, including the origin of the mentioned artifact.