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Hungarian top diplomat: EU must discuss anti-Russian sanctions

May 26, 19:56 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Sanctions against Russia have failed to reach their goals, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, May 26. /TASS/. Sanctions against Russia have failed to reach their goals, and countries of the European Union must discuss their impact, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with TASS on Friday.

The diplomat reiterated that two goals were "attached" to the sanctions imposed against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

"If you put in consideration sanctions, there were two goals attached to it: economically - to kill Russia’s economy, that obviously was not a successful attempt. Number two, political one: to have forward progress toward full implementation of the Minsk agreements. That didn’t happen either," the senior diplomat said.

With this in view, Budapest suggests holding a debate in the European Union to consider the aftermath of the sanctions. "It’s a problem, that since the introduction of the sanctions we never had a debate about the impacts. And when we ask for a debate, we don’t give any prejudice," the foreign minister said.

He said, however, that if the issue of extending sanctions against Russia is put to vote in the European Union, Hungary will support the majority. "We made it clear many times that the last thing we would do is to break the unity of the EU. We would never do it," Peter Szijjarto said.

He also stressed that Hungary was in favor of pragmatic relations between the European Union and Russia, based on mutual respect and mutual advantage. The foreign minister also spoke in favor of Rusisa’s better relationship with the US and the West on the whole, noting that countries of Central Europe were always affected at times of increased political tensions.

"We don’t want to be losers any more. It is our own interest, security interest, and pragmatic interest, and economic interest, (that) US and Russia enjoy a better relationship, then currently. And that’s not something we say because we are pro-Russian or pro-US, or pro-something. We are pro-Hungarian and we know, that whenever these countries enjoy a good relationship, it’s much better for Central Europe," the senior diplomat stressed.

In 2014, the European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow over developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia and has repeatedly extended them. Talks on visa-free regime and a new framework cooperation agreement were suspended, a ban was imposed on entry to the EU member-countries for Russian officials and their assets were frozen. Restrictive trade, financial and military measures were put in place. A total of 151 individuals and 37 legal entities were added to the sanctions lists. Sectoral sanctions against 20 Russian financial, oil and defense companies have been in effect.

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