The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphanius, commented on the scandal in Sarajevo, when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was presented with an ancient Ukrainian icon from occupied Lugansk.
Let us remind you, the icon was gifted to him on December 14th, during his visit to our country, by a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik.
- This is a political gesture towards the Russian Federation because this icon is from the territory that is now, unfortunately, under occupation. And it doesn’t depend on us as a church. It is really good that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of B&H reacted to this event, because such things should not happen at all. Every nation must respect other nations and not do such things - said the Metropolitan of Ukraine Epiphanius in an interview for the Ukrainian service of RSE.
It is suspected that the icon was taken out of Lugansk, a city in eastern Ukraine, which is located on the territory that has been under the control of pro-Russian forces since 2014.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Bosnia and Herzegovina sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of B&H asking for detailed information why the 300-year-old Ukrainian icon was given to Lavrov.