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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Ducks Wallenberg Issue in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov dodged questions about the fate of Raul Wallenberg on Friday, the day Sweden said its diplomat seized by Soviet troops in 1945 in Budapest may still be alive.

"Why here?" was all Ivanov said to a reporter when asked at a news conference to comment on Wallenberg, whose disappearance was thrown into the spotlight once again by a report released in Stockholm.

The fate of Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews by issuing them false passports and affording them protection of the neutral Swedish flag, has been a mystery since he was arrested by Soviet occupation forces.

But based on the results of 10 years of Swedish-Russian investigations, Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said there was no clear evidence that Wallenberg was dead, and his government would try harder to find out what happened to him.

The Soviet and Russian authorities have said he died in Moscow's notorious Lubyanka prison in July 1947.

But there have been persistent reports that he was alive in a Soviet camp or psychiatric hospital, perhaps as late as 1989. If alive today, he would be 87.

There was no indication that Wallenberg figured in talks in Budapest Friday between Ivanov and Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi. But Martonyi said the talks would continue over lunch and he did not rule out other issues being raised.

There are several statues and memorials to Wallenberg in Budapest, but Ivanov's public schedule called only for a visit to a Hungarian-Soviet war memorial.