Budapest wants to elucidate its function within the transfer of Ukrainian prisoners of conflict from Russia, stated the European Commission.
“We’ve heard that this example was not coordinated with Ukraine. This mustn’t have occurred,” Peter Stano, spokesperson for the EU’s international coverage department, informed reporters on Wednesday (21 June).
Eleven prisoners of conflict, reportedly from Ukraine’s westernmost Zakarpattia Oblast, had been despatched from Russia to Hungary on 9 June.
“It’s as much as the Hungarian authorities to elucidate the small print of this case, the function it is performed within the liberation of those Ukrainian residents from Russia,” he stated.
The operation is alleged to have been carried out in secret amid a widening diplomatic rift between Kyiv and Budapest.
Earlier this week, authorities in Kiev stated the POWs had been being stored in isolation and accused Hungary of ignoring its requests to determine contact.
“The consul and ambassador are usually not allowed to go to them regardless of persistent requests from us,” Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of international affairs, informed the press.
He additionally described the prisoner transfer as a political stunt designed to bolster the standing of Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán.
“There was one easy purpose: Viktor Orbán needed to present the Hungarians each in Hungary and outdoors of Hungary that he was their solely defender,” Kuleba stated.
On Tuesday, Hungary’s chief spokesperson Zoltán Kovács, accused Kuleba of making false statements.
In a Tweet, citing Hungary’s international minister Péter Szijjártó, Kovács stated the Hungarian authorities had not been concerned.
Kovács additionally stated the transfer had been coordinated between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta.
But this seems to contradict his personal earlier assertion.
On 9 June, Kovács said that the transfer had the truth is been coordinated by Hungary’s deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjén.
“The operation, which Mr Semjén referred to as a human and patriotic responsibility, was carried out on the request of Hungary,” Kovács had stated.
According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Semjén had failed to inform high-ranking Hungarian authorities officers.
The media outlet stated the POWs had been a part of a PR stunt by the Kremlin-backed Russian Orthodox Church, which backfired.
Three of the 11 POWs have since been launched and returned to Ukraine.
The Zakarpattia Oblast, the place the POWs are from, is house to some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians.
Orbán has previously vetoed EU sanctions on Russian church leaders and Russia’s nuclear, fuel, and oil industries, whereas making fawning overtures to Moscow.
He can be holding up Sweden’s entry into Nato, additional alienating Hungary’s Western allies.