Germany gives Ukraine historic 300-year-old decree signed by Peter the Great

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BERLIN, March 14. /TASS/. State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office Walter Lindner gave Ukrainian Ambassador in Germany Andrei Melnik a charter by Peter the Great dated 1708 on the appointment of a Kiev metropolitan, Germany’s Federal Foreign Office told TASS. The ceremony took place in the German ministry in Berlin.

In this document, Peter the Great confirms the metropolitan’s appointment. The document also stipulates his rights and the position of the Kiev metropoly.

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office noted that the original document has been in the library of the Institute for Eastern European History and Area Studies of the University of Tubingen since the 1950s.

The ministry provided TASS with a news release by the university, which discloses the story of the charter’s transfer. According to historians, the charter was in the Vernadsky National Library in Kiev in 1931. The German-Ukrainian expert group concluded that the Nazis must have carted off the charter as a trophy in 1941 from Kiev to Germany. The Federal Foreign Office helped the German-Ukrainian research group study the document. The work was carried out from July to October 2016 in the archives of Kiev, Berlin, Tubingen and Freiburg im Breisgau.

Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Wurttemberg, decided to give the document to the Ukrainian side upon coordination with the Federal Foreign Office and the University of Tubingen. The only thing that is known about why the document was in the library is that Professor Werner Markert, the founder and first director of the Institute for Eastern European History and Area Studies, purchased it for the university in the late 1950s.

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