Foreign Affairs St. Sec: Ukraine sanctions unavoidable

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Taking sanctions against Ukraine has become “unavoidable” to pave the way for peaceful talks and a political solution to the crisis, Foreign Affairs State Secretary Zsolt Németh told commercial broadcaster Hír TV. Németh attended the meeting of EU foreign ministers initiated by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, yesterday.

Hungary gives priority to halting the escalation of violence, “whether it is committed by the government or the opposition”, Németh said. Sanctions may include embargoes, freezing the assets and limiting the movement of certain persons, he said. It would not be satisfactory, however, if the EU’s actions were limited to sanctions. The West needs to go deeper into its pockets and provide a large aid package for Ukraine, Németh said.

The State Secretary said that Hungarian diplomacy was in touch with both the Ukrainian government and the opposition: Németh informed that the Hungarian ambassador to Kiev met the Ukrainian foreign minister on Wednesday afternoon, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with Interior Minister Sándor Pintér and head of Hungarys Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK) János Hajdú traveled to the Hungarian-Ukranian border region yesterday to see for himself how the Hungarian authorities and public health institutions are preparing for any contingency and to meet local security force chiefs,” according to an official statement.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to citizens against travelling to Kiev. It said that border crossings to Ukraine were so far uninterrupted, adding that the Hungarian community in western parts of the country had not been directly affected by the upheavals.

As of this writing at approximately 12:30pm CET/6:30am EST, Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych has “announced a tentative resolution” to civil unrest that last night left at least 100 dead in the capital city. According to a New York Times report, “The agreement, which has yet to be signed, was announced after all-night talks with opposition leaders, Russian representatives and the foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France.”

– material by Gergő Rácz was used in this article

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