Kyiv on Monday accused Hungary of barring access to eleven Ukrainian prisoners of war that Russia handed over to the EU country.

The Russian Orthodox Church said earlier this month a group of Ukrainian prisoners of war of Hungarian origin had been transferred to Budapest.

The prisoners are of Transcarpathian origin -- a region in western Ukraine bordering Hungary, where around 100,000 ethnic Hungarians live.

On Monday Kyiv said Ukrainian officials have not been able to get access to the returned detainees.

“All attempts by Ukrainian diplomats over the past few days to establish direct contact with Ukrainian citizens have not been successful,” foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement on Facebook.

“Essentially they are being kept in isolation,” he said.


They communicate with relatives in the presence of third parties and are denied contact with the Ukrainian embassy, Nikolenko added.

He accused Hungary of “ignoring” Kyiv’s attempts to establish dialogue.

Nikolenko had earlier said that Kyiv had not been informed about negotiations between Hungary and Russia.

Due to a long-running feud with Kyiv over minority rights in the Transcarpathian region of western Ukraine, Budapest has also vowed to hold up Kyiv’s efforts toward EU and NATO integration.

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