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Hungarian top diplomat says EU anti-Russian sanctions harm Minsk deal

March 09, 17:24 UTC+3 VILNIUS
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stresses the sanction issue must be reviewed
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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto

© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

VILNIUS, March 9./TASS/. European Union’s sanctions against Russia don’t bring closer the implementation of the Minsk agreements, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters in Vilnius on Thursday.

"Sanctions have proved inefficient both politically and economically. They don’t contribute to the implementation of the Minsk agreements," the top diplomat said.

He also marked that the stance of Budapest on sanctions differed from that prevailing in the European Union. "However, we see the European unity as priority, that is why we did not veto the decision on the sanctions," Peter Szijjarto said. "Hungary does not agree with how this instrument is functioning," he said, marking that "the sanctions have done considerable damage to the economy of the EU countries".

He said the sanction issue must be reviewed. "Time has come for an open, honest and pragmatic dialog on the sanctions," the foreign minister said.

Following the incorporation of Crimea after a coup in Ukraine, Moscow came under sanctions on from the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon ramped up following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia was supporting the militias in self-proclaimed republics of Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in the destabilization of Ukraine. The European Union has repeatedly extended them ever since.

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