Russia transferred 11 Ukrainian war prisoners to Budapest – Hungarian deputy PM
Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, Zsolt Semjén, has confirmed the information about the transfer of 11 Ukrainian prisoners of war of Hungarian origin from Russia to Hungary.
Due to this statement, Ukraine's foreign ministry invited the temporary representative of Hungary, Hungarian media outlet ATV reports.
The day before, the Russian Orthodox Church published a statement in which it claimed that on June 8, "as part of inter-church cooperation, at the request of the Hungarian side, a group of Ukrainian war prisoners of Transcarpathian origin was handed over to Hungary."
The agreement on the transfer involved Metropolitan Anthony Volokolamsky, chairman of the External Church Relations Department, and Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, advisor to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The outlet "RBC-Ukraine," previously reported that Russia planned to transfer some of the Ukrainian captives to Hungary, and this decision was not coordinated with Ukraine.
One of the intermediaries was supposed to be the charitable organization Maltese Aid Service of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
Zsolt Semjén, the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister for Church Affairs, coordinated the transfer of the prisoners.
On Friday, Semjén, in a comment to the publication, refused to provide any details, referring to the "interests of the case and the people." But he said that this is a gesture of the Russian Orthodox Church towards Hungary and that these people "owe it their freedom."
This is my human and patriotic duty, Semjén said about his role in coordinating the transportation of 11 prisoners of war to Hungary.
The Ukrainian side did not know about the transfer and was not involved in the process in any way.
Andriy Yusov, a representative of Ukraine's intelligence, stated that the issue is exclusively dealt with by the Coordination Headquarters, with which neither the ROC nor Hungary contacted. Currently, the Ukrainian government is establishing all the circumstances, finding out the names of those released, and working on their return.
According to the spokesman Oleh Nikolenko, the Ukrainian government was not informed about the relevant negotiations between the Hungarian and Russian parties.
Ukraine invited the temporary representative of Hungary and submitted a request to provide detailed information about its citizens and to urgently provide access to them for the Ukrainian consul to get acquainted with their state of health and provide them with consular assistance.