Embassy Staff, Journalists Evacuated Safely From Kyiv, Says FM Szijjártó

  • 28 Feb 2022 6:59 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Embassy Staff, Journalists Evacuated Safely From Kyiv, Says FM Szijjártó
Some staff of the Hungarian embassy and their family members, along with Hungarian journalists and civilians, have been evacuated safely from Kyiv, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in a video message posted on Facebook late on Saturday.

Speaking from New York, where he met United Nations officials, Szijjártó noted that a decision was taken on Friday for his ministry to organise an international evacuation convoy from Kyiv, where a number of Hungarian diplomats and their family members, as well as civilians, remained in difficult circumstances.

He said the evacuation convoy with 35 people reached the Hungarian consulate in Uzhhorod (Ungvár), near the border with Hungary, safely on Saturday.

The convoy included 24 embassy staff and their family members, among them children; two journalists of public media provider MTVA; two Hungarian civilians; and seven staff of the Kyiv offices of OSCE and the Council of Europe, whose evacuation had been requested, he added.

The convoy is being escorted to the Hungarian border from Uzhhorod by the Ukrainian police and will be assisted at the crossing by the embassy, Ukrainian border guards and the Hungarian police, he said. Ministry vehicles will bring them to Budapest, he added.

Szijjártó said another big international organisation had asked Hungary to assist their staff in Kyiv and provide a haven for them at the embassy there. “We are providing that opportunity, offering help both to Hungarians and non-Hungarians alike,” he added.

Szijjártó said he had met UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid and Under-Secretary-General Rosemary A DiCarlo in New York to ask for support in re-establishing the peace in Ukraine.

Both pledged to intercede to bring the Ukrainian and Russian sides to the negotiating table, he added.


Evacuation From Ukraine 'Impossible', Says FM Szijjártó

All staff of Hungary’s embassy in Kyiv are working to ensure that everyone seeking assistance is provided it, the foreign minister said on Thursday, but “evacuating people [from the country] is basically impossible”.

Péter Szijjártó said in a video posted on Facebook that Ukraine’s entire airspace was closed with a ban on civil aviation, while evacuation by road was also impossible.

Four Hungarian Wizz Air aircraft with their crews are stuck in Ukraine, Szijjártó said, adding there were no Hungarians among the crew.

The Hungarian embassy received 60 calls “when telecommunications services were functioning and staff members were not in the basement”, the minister said, adding that the embassy would shelter Hungarians seeking security.

He asked Hungarians to call the consular service’s 24-hour hotline, which is operating with extra staff. On Thursday, the consular service received 80 calls, he said.

So far, 191 Hungarians in Ukraine and 154 in Russia have applied for consular protection, he said, adding that the staff were in contact with them. Transcarpathia has switched to military administration, Szijjártó said.

Concerning lorry drivers in transit, the minister said the government was doing everything to ensure that they continue their journey or find safe haven.

The government is watching developments closely and will take every measure “to protect Hungary and the Hungarian people from this war”, he said.

“Hungary stands by Ukraine and by Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and condemns Russia’s military action,” he said.

The government “will do everything to prevent Hungary possibly getting mixed up in the conflict of war,” he added.

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