Five Britons and two Americans among 10 foreign POWs freed by Russia after they were captured in Ukraine with a plane taking them to Saudi Arabia ‘after the mediation of Crown Prince MBS’
- List of newly released prisoners includes five British nationals, official says
- Two Americans, a Swede, a Croat and a Moroccan were also released
- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was reportedly involved in mediations
- BREAKING: More to follow
Russia has released 10 foreign prisoners of war captured in fighting in Ukraine, according to a Saudi official.
The list of newly released prisoners includes five British nationals, two Americans, a Swede, a Croat and a Moroccan, the official said, adding that they were freed following negotiations led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman .
A plane carrying the unidentified prisoners left Russia earlier today and landed in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, this afternoon.
They will soon be sent back to their country of origin, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing sources familiar with the mediation.
The prisoners were taken from the front lines in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.
“The release comes on the basis of the priority given by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and in the continuity of his commitment to humanitarian initiatives in the face of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
“This is also a result of its continued engagement with relevant countries,” read a statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (pictured) has been involved in negotiations to release 10 foreign nationals captured in Ukraine from Russian prison, a Saudi official has said
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the Governor of Novgorod Region
Mohammed bin Salman offered to host talks between Ukraine and Russia in March, at the start of the war.
MbS reportedly made the initial offer during a phone call with Putin,
During the March conversation, MbS also reaffirmed the Saudi intention to maintain balance and stability in the oil market and to respect the OPEC+ agreement – an intergovernmental body that regulates world oil prices.
OPEC+ announced it would increase production by 100,000 barrels a day in August, barely making a dent in meeting global demand – after officials claimed the Biden administration was asking Saudi Arabia increase oil production and reduce world energy prices.
The move came weeks after Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, giving the ruling family and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a boost.
Saudi Arabia and most Arab countries are the largest oil exporters in the world. with Russia, which together form OPEC+.
Arab countries nevertheless supported the UN General Assembly resolution calling on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
Russia and Saudi Arabia both have an interest in keeping global oil production stable despite the price spike due to the invasion of Ukraine – forcing the two countries to collaborate and putting the price of the krone in a position of negotiate with Putin on other issues.
OPEC+ announced that it would increase production by 100,000 barrels per day, which would barely help meet global demand. The move came weeks after Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, giving the ruling family and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a boost.