Icon of St. Nicholas for Lavrov and the Diplomatic Difficulties of Bosnia


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sent a request to the Bosnian tripartite government for a note from the Ukrainian embassy regarding the gift of an icon by one of the Serbian government members, Miroslav Dodik, to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who visited Russia on December 14-15.

This information was confirmed to RFE / RL by Bisera Turkovic, the Bosnian Foreign Minister, who said that “the ministry has demanded an explanation from the government.”

Due to the serious accusations made in the note, we expect the involvement of those responsible for such cases …

In a letter to RFE / RL, the Ukrainian embassy in Bosnia asked the Bosnian Foreign Ministry for “detailed information on a sample of Ukrainian cultural treasures,” which, according to President Dodik’s office (released by SRNA), is a “gilded icon created.” About 300 years ago “and found in Luhansk.”

“Because of the serious allegations made in the note, we expect the involvement of those responsible for such cases when it comes to serious allegations of alienation of someone else’s property,” Turkovic told RFE / RL.

In a telephone conversation with Radio Liberty, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed that such a note had been sent to the Bosnian Foreign Ministry.

They did not call for any other information. They only said that they were waiting for the answer of the Bosnian officials.

Such was the information provided by the Ukrainian Embassy in Sarajevo for Radio Liberty.

The letter from the Ukrainian Embassy to the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that if the Bosnian leadership immediately and unequivocally denies the information about the gift, which is cultural, historical And religious values ​​and expelled from the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation, it will be considered as support for the supreme authority of Bosnia against Russia’s aggressive policy and military action against Ukraine.

Is If No. Investigative Bodies Inclusion NeededBa

Minister Turkovi. Told RFE / RL that they were investigating on what basis Bosnia had become the owner of an item that did not belong to him, as well as how the case was proceeded.

“Of course, we, as a ministry, can not prove anything, nor can we begin to find out what the case is. We have not seen and do not know. We can only transmit to the request of the Ukrainian embassy, ​​which was sent to the government and, presumably, other In institutions as well, “said Minister Turkovich.

Dodik has to say where the icon came from, who brought it to him, who gave it to him, because this is an international scandal related to theft, this is something that is persecuted in any normal country.

Asked which other institutions he was referring to, Turkovic said: “In any case, if we are dealing with serious thefts, serious allegations of property that were found to be illegal in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the prosecutor’s office and SIPA (State Investigation Agency) should be involved.”

The cabinet of the Serbian member of the Bosnian government did not answer RFE / RL’s phone calls and questions about the icon.

An adviser to a Bosnian member of the Bosnian government has confirmed that this is an unprecedented situation. He said Dodik should explain everything.

Speaking about the situation with the icon, Croatian member of the Bosnian government Zeljko Komsic said that if it is true that “the icon is from Ukraine and was brought to Banja Luka during the conflict in Ukraine, it turns out that it was stolen and then someone should go to jail.”

“Dodik has to say where the icon came from, who brought it, who gave it, because this is an international scandal involving theft, this is something that is prosecuted in any normal country. This case should end in court, someone should go to jail. “If this is true, many things will not turn out to be true. If this is true, then this is the answer,” Komsic said.

Muslim and Croat representatives of the collective rule of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ფიკefik აფaferovi და and კოelko Komsiჩ, for “disrespect for all Bosnian symbols and institutions”,

They refused to meet on December 15 with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is on a working visit to Sarajevo.

Lavrov met with Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic and Milorad Dodik at the administrative center of the Republika Srpska in one of Bosnia’s autonomous regions.

Sergei Lavrov and Bisera Turkovich

St. Nicholas LouH.From Anski Of Bosnia Through in Russia?

The icon was handed over from Ukraine to the Russian Foreign Minister on Monday, December 14, after a meeting between Dodik and Lavrov in eastern Sarajevo.

The Serbian News Agency (SRNA) has informed the public that Dodik handed over to Lavrov a 300-year-old icon found in Luhansk, without giving further, additional information.

According to the Serbian News Agency (SRNA), the seal on the back of the icon confirms its authenticity.

After receiving information about the letter from the Ukrainian embassy, ​​the deacon from Mostar, Branislav Raikovich, spoke to Radio Liberty about the icon.

Raikovich explained that, most likely, it was an icon of St. Nicholas.

“Most likely, this is an icon framed by St. Nicholas. Due to the lack of complete information about the exact time of creation of this particular icon, when it was mentioned and probably officially registered as a Ukrainian cultural heritage, and because it is on our land, it is important to note: “Icons of different origins are often found in Bosnia, as in any other part of the world. In the past, in particular, people often gave and received icons as gifts, and also bought and donated to their church community,” Raikovic said.

He noted that “ties with Russia and Ukraine were particularly pronounced during Karlovich’s episcopate.” The diocese of Karlovi. Was the episcopate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which existed between 1708 and 1848.

“In addition, for example, our treasures in the Bosnia-Herzegovina region are rich in icons of Italian-Cretan school masters,” Raikovic explained.

Warriors from the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk Region from Bosnia

Relations between Russia, Ukraine, as well as Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are reflected in the arrival of troops in Ukraine and their participation in hostilities.

Since the start of the conflict in 2013, a number of Bosnian citizens have joined pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, Luhansk and Donetsk.

In March 2020, a Bosnia and Herzegovina court acquitted Gavril Stevic in the first trial of the war in Ukraine, who was accused of enlisting along with other Bosnian and Serb citizens in the “Jovan Cevic” paramilitary unit fighting against Ukrainian government troops. Stevich admitted he was in Ukraine, but for a different reason.

After the trial in March, Stevich told RFE / RL that he “went to Ukraine for humanitarian reasons.”

Stevic is the only person from Bosnia who has been convicted of involvement in hostilities in Ukraine, but he is not the only one suspected of fighting in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities have even published their list. Many of them are still in Ukraine. One, Dmitry Joich, was allegedly killed in Ukraine.

According to the indictment, Stevich went to Ukraine with the help of a Cossack union, as a member of a Chetnik detachment led by Bratislav Zizkovic. ჟiკოkovi თავს considers himself the leader of the Chetnik movement. He was arrested in Serbia.

An estimated 300 Serbs fought in Ukraine. As of 2019, 30 people have been tried in Serbia since 2015 for taking part in hostilities with pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. This number is not complete. The fact is that those arrested on charges of taking part in the fighting in Ukraine confess to the crime, cooperate with the investigation, and most of them are sentenced to one year probation or a lighter sentence. Starting a war or armed conflict in Serbia is punishable by one to ten years in prison in a foreign country, and participation in a foreign armed group in connection with terrorism in Bosnia is punishable by three to 20 years in prison.