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Russia-Ukraine conflict: Putin thanks Saudi Crown Prince for mediation in prisoner exchange

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the Kingdom’s mediation enabling the release of 10 prisoners of war captured in Ukraine.

On Thursday, the Crown Prince made a phone call to Putin, during which the Russian president “thanked the Crown Prince for his active and distinguished contribution to the success of the prisoner swap.”

In turn, the Crown Prince affirmed the Kingdom’s readiness to support all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

President Putin also hailed the Kingdom’s accession – as a dialogue partner – to Shanghai Cooperation Organization, while aspects of cooperation between the two countries and ways to enhance them were also discussed during the phone call.

On Wednesday, Riyadh announced that the Crown Prince helped facilitate the release of ten prisoners from five countries in a prisoner of war exchange between Russia and Ukraine.

The prisoners of war, who are citizens of Morocco, the US, the UK, Sweden and Croatia, were released as part of an exchange between Russia and Ukraine, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“The relevant Saudi authorities received and transferred them from Russia to the Kingdom and are facilitating procedures for their safe return to their respective countries,” the ministry said at the time.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the gratitude and appreciation of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Russian Federation and to Ukraine for their response to the efforts made by the Crown Prince for the release of the PoWs.”

On Thursday, the Crown Prince also had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who also thanked Saudi Arabia for its mediation on the prisoner exchange, saying on Twitter: “Had a cordial conversation with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Thanked [him] for facilitation in the release of foreign citizens, involvement in mediation and the leading role of Saudi Arabia in the region.”

He added: “We discussed Ukraine’s energy security, post-war recovery and joint investment projects.”

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