Ukrainian war veteran released after border detention

Ukrainian Donbas war veteran Ihor Mazur, detained by Polish Border Guard at a Polish-Ukrainian border crossing was released on Sunday but will remain in Lublin, south-east Poland, until the conclusion of an extradition procedure.

Vasyl Pavluk, Ukraine's consul general in Lublin, said Mazur is to remain at the Ukrainian consulate until the finalisation of the extradition procedure. The consul stressed that Polish authorities acted according to the law and expressed words of thanks for taking into account his motion for Mazur's release.

Mazur, a veteran of struggle against pro-Russian separatists in Donbas and a member of the far right-right UNA-UNSO organisation cooperating with the Ukrainian ombudsman’s secretariat has been detained by the Polish Border Guard on grounds of an Interpol arrest warrant issued by Russia which had sought his extradition.

Commenting on the situation, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has said that Interpol warrants are sometimes abused. He added that Polish authorities, after analysing the case, will issue its decision in tune with the international law.

Ihor Mazur was on his way to Warsaw where he was to take part in a conference devoted to security and Polish-Ukrainian cooperation in view of Russian aggression.

Asked about Russia's accusations, Mazur said that in 2000 Russia placed him on a list of persons suspected of committing various crimes in Chechnya. Mazur denied Russia's accusations.

Agnieszka Kepka, spokesperson for the regional prosecution in Lublin, told PAP on Sunday that the prosecution is now waiting for documents from Russia.

In Poland, it is the court which decides on the admissibility of extradition. The final decision rests with the minister of justice.