“Artifacts uncovered during archaeological excavations in Crimea belong to Ukraine,” said Gleb Ivanikin, an archaeologist, holder of the Ph.D. in history, and Deputy Director of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences, at a meeting of the Coordination Council for Ensuring Observation of Rights and Freedoms of Ukrainian Citizens in Temporarily Occupied Crimea and Sevastopol, which took place in Kiev on October 27.

“Russian archaeologists have no right to excavate in Crimea and many of them are refusing to do excavations there unless they are authorized by Ukrainian authorities,” said Gleb Ivanikin.

Gleb Ivanikin went on to say that the Ukrainian Union of Archaeologists released a statement on the Internet urging their Russian colleagues not to cooperate with occupation authorities in Crimea.

It was reported earlier that problems faced by scientists in their work due to temporary occupation of Crimea were discussed at a meeting of the Coordination Council. According to Sergey Petuhov, Deputy Justice Minister for European Integration, Ukraine is continuing to issue all Crimea-related documents, even though it is unable to control enforcement of its laws on the occupied peninsula.

Petuhov also said that under Ukrainian laws any collection of artifacts is ‘bound’ to a museum it is on display in, whereas Russian laws interpret all archeological finds as state property, which is not ‘bound’ to a particular museum. Therefore, any artifact Russian archaeologists uncover in Crimea may end up, for example, at the Hermitage museum in Russia.