Mediation sessions by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud succeeded on Wednesday in arranging the freeing of 10 prisoners of different nationalities as part of a prisoner release between Moscow and Kyiv.
Britain and Sweden, both of which have citizens that were released under Saudi mediation, were quick to welcome the Kingdom’s efforts.
“Based on the priority given by Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, and in continuation of his commitment to the humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and resulting from his continued engagement with the relevant countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the success of his mediation efforts that led to the release of ten prisoners of war (POWs) – who are Moroccan, US, UK, Swedish and Croatian nationals,” said a statement released by the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
They “are being released as part of an exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine.”
“Relevant Saudi authorities received and transferred them from Russia to the Kingdom and are facilitating procedures for their safe return to their respective countries,” it added.
The Ministry expressed the gratitude of the Saudi government to Russia and Ukraine “for their response to the efforts made by the Crown Prince for the release of the POWs.”
British Prime Minister Liz Truss welcomed the release and transfer to Riyadh of five UK prisoners.
“Hugely welcome news that five British nationals held by Russian-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine are being safely returned, ending months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families,” tweeted Truss.
She thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Saudi Arabia for helping free the detainees.
Moreover, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde also said that a Swedish citizen, held in Donetsk, “has now been freed and is well.”
She, too, thanked Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.