Hungary returns Ukrainian-Hungarian POWs to Ukraine but Kyiv still unhappy

The ethnic Hungarian POWs had been released from Russia with the help of the Russian Orthodox Church

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner
Source: Twitter

The Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest has returned to Ukraine some of the prisoners of war who were transferred to Hungary almost two weeks ago through the Russian Orthodox Church, announced Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko on his website.

As Remix News reported earlier, the Russian Orthodox Church handed over 11 ethnic Hungarian prisoners of war hailing from the Transcarpathia region to Hungary.

“With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, through the mediation of the Russian Orthodox Church, within the framework of interchurch cooperation, at the request of the Hungarian side, a group of Ukrainian prisoners of war of Transcarpathian origin who were involved in hostilities were transferred to Hungary,” the statement said.

Metropolitan Antal Volokolamskyi, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, and Archpriest Nikolai Balasov, adviser to the patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, also took part in the operation.

Soon afterward, Ukraine’s foreign ministry summoned Hungary’s ambassador to Kyiv for a meeting to express their displeasure. According to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko, the Ukrainian government had not been informed about the negotiations between the Hungarian and Russian sides on the POWs, and Ukraine had learned about the transfer of the 11 POWs to Hungary from statements by Hungary’s deputy prime minister.

At the time, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said that “the 11 in Transcarpathian Hungary are no longer ‘prisoners of war,’ but free people. If I were a representative of Ukraine, I would have said thank you for this.”

Subsequently, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba said that “(Hungarian Prime Minister) Viktor Orbán had a personal interest in freeing the prisoners of war,” in a move designed to demonstrate to “Hungarians in Hungary and abroad that he is their only defender.”

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó reacted on his social media page, saying his statement was an absurd accusation.

“Our Ukrainian colleague Dmitro Kuleba today repeatedly made false accusations against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Hungary,” Szijjártó wrote. He added: “We have explained it clearly several times, but let us do it again: Eleven people have been freed from being prisoners of war as a result of the cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Maltese Aid Service. This was done without the involvement of the Hungarian government.”

tend: 1695512401.6173