Hungary supports plans to expand the list of individuals subject to visa ban and, if appropriate, further asset freeze, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Monday in Brussels upon arrival at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States.

“There is no rapid solution to the conflict in sight”, Péter Szijjártó reviewed the situation in Ukraine, which was the most important topic of the Foreign Ministers’ discussion. Among the causes for concern the minister specifically mentioned the “elections” held in Eastern Ukraine.

So far the EU has imposed visa ban and asset freeze in several steps against Russians involved in the crisis and pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists. According to Péter Szijjártó, such measures can facilitate the quick, negotiated resolution of the conflict. The minister expressed his hope that a consensus will be reached at the EU meeting on extending the scope of the persons affected.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini also told journalists that possible sanctions would be discussed at the meeting. However, she added, it is not enough to focus only on punitive measures but we also have to create an overall strategy and discuss the ways of resuming the dialogue with Russia.

Moreover, the government of Ukraine must also successfully implement the necessary reforms, she added.

The head of German diplomacy, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, confirming that there are discussions on expanding the scope of individuals and legal entities affected by the restrictions, emphasised: there are no plans to tighten the targeted sanctions imposed on certain economic sectors of Russia. Mr. Steinmeier will travel to Kiev on Tuesday, and then to Moscow.

Before the Foreign Ministers’ Monday meeting in Brussels, Federica Mogherini and Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavol Klimkin signed an agreement on the status of the EU Advisory Mission that would promote the necessary reforms of the civil elements of Ukrainian security institutions. Head of the mission is Kálmán Mizsei from Hungary, who said that they would start the job with more than fifty people but they intend to increase the staff later on.

It is the first time Federica Mogherini chairs the Foreign Ministers’ meeting since taking place of Catherine Ashton. Besides reviewing the Ukrainian problem, the Middle East conflict, the situation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the fight against the Ebola outbreak are also on the agenda. In addition to participating at the meeting, Péter Szijjártó is also scheduled to have separate discussions with the British and Greek Foreign Ministers.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)