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Ukraine-Hungary Tension: Prisoner Of War Access Denied

Kiev on Monday accused Budapest of blocking its access to a group of Ukrainian prisoners of war transferred to Hungary from Russia through the intermediary of the Russian Orthodox Church and without the knowledge of the Ukrainian authorities. “All attempts by Ukrainian diplomats in recent days to establish direct contact with these Ukrainian citizens have proved unsuccessful,” Ukrainian diplomacy spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Facebook.

Transferred to Hungary on June 8, these 11 Ukrainians of Hungarian origin “are de facto placed in solitary confinement, they have no access to open sources of information, their communication with relatives takes place in the presence of third parties” , castigated Mr. Nikolenko. “Such acts by Budapest (…) can be qualified as a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights”, denounced the spokesman.

According to him, Kyiv has “once again asked” the Hungarian government to “give the Ukrainian consul immediate access” to these prisoners of war “so that he can assess their physical and psychological condition, explain their rights to them and provide assistance. consular emergency”. This group of prisoners is from Transcarpathia, a region in western Ukraine that is home to a large Hungarian community. Their transfer to Hungary had been announced by the Russian Orthodox Church, which acted as an intermediary. Ukraine, for its part, regretted not having been involved in the negotiation process.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has maintained contact with the Kremlin despite the war in Ukraine and has forged strong ties with the Russian Orthodox Church in recent years. It is thanks to his support that the Russian patriarch Kirill, a faithful supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, escaped sanctions from the European Union last year in the name of the defense of “religious freedom”. The Hungarian leader also maintains complicated relations with kyiv, which he refuses to help militarily in the face of the Russian invasion launched in February 2022.

This article is originally published on lorientlejour.com

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