President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is no longer an honorary citizen of the Italian city of Verona, writes ANSA. The city council approved this decision at the meeting where 28 elected representatives’ voted in favour and 4 voted against it.
The decision states that the previous authorities of the city "hurriedly and unjustly provided the city’s citizenship to Petro Poroshenko".
The document notes that authorities granted this citizenship "for controversial services in the search for artworks stolen from the Castelvecchio Museum in Ukraine on November 19, 2015".
Deputies said that the local authorities and not the president carried out the search for missing works of art.
The newspaper Evropeska Pravda notes that after the Poroshenko’s title award, the "League" party came to power in Verona. Its deputies for a long time sought to deprive the Ukrainian president of the title. The League has a pro-Russian stance, seeks the lifting of sanctions against Russia and has concluded a cooperation agreement with the ruling ‘United Russia’ party.
On November 2015, criminals stole 17 paintings worth 20 million from the museum in Verona.
In May 2016, Ukrainian border guards found stolen paintings as they were transported across the Ukrainian border to Moldova. At the same time, Petro Poroshenko instructed his office to invite Italian experts and prepare paintings' transfer to Italy. Investigation determined that one of the private collectors from Russia requested to steal these masterpieces. The Ukrainian State Border service then reported that the pictures were going to be transported by the Russian FSB from Moldova to Russia.