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Budapest concerned about Hungarian minority in Ukraine - Lavrov

February 12, 2017, 13:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Recently, we have visited Budapest as a delegation of President Putin," Lavrov said

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MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Hungary has expressed to Russia its big concern about future of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine during the recent visit to Budapest of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with NTV on Sunday.

"Recently, we have visited Budapest as a delegation of President Putin," Lavrov said. "Our Hungarian counterparts expressed major concern about positions of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia."

"They said, that minority in fact survives exclusively due to the humanitarian assistance from Hungary," Lavrov said. "Budapest’s all requests to Kiev for actions by the Ukrainian government still have been of no effect.".

Russia ready for Normandy Format contacts on Ukraine

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed to boost up the Normandy Format contacts on Ukraine, and Russia is ready for them, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"On February 7, Russia's President Vladimir Putin had a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel...," Lavrov said. "After that, I immediately received a call from my new German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, and we continued the conversation, referring to the fact that the Russian president and the German chancellor had agreed to boost up the efforts in the Normandy Format."

"We are ready for that, but, first of all, of course it is necessary to provide security "on the ground"," the Russian minister said.

During the telephone conversation on February 7, the minister continued, the Russian leader presented to the German chancellor the development of events during the recent aggravation of the situation in Donbass. "I would not reveal details of the conversation, but the chancellor did not argue with our estimation of the situation," Lavrov added.

On Thursday, German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Martin Schaefer said the German Foreign Ministry is preparing for a ministerial meeting of the Normandy Quartet countries (Germany, Russia, France, Ukraine) that could be held on February 16 or 17 in Bonn, on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting.

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