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Ukraine Crisis – Foreign Minister: Evacuation from Ukraine ‘Impossible’

MTI-Hungary Today 2022.02.25.

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.

People From Ukraine Already Fleeing to Hungary
People From Ukraine Already Fleeing to Hungary

As all men up to the age of 60 might be drafted to the Ukrainian army soon, many people have already packed their bags and are heading for Hungary.Continue reading

“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.

Countries turn to Hungary for help

Szijjártó also revealed late on Thursday that India and Iran had turned to Hungary for help in rescuing their citizens stranded in Ukraine.

He wrote on Facebook that he had spoken by phone to the foreign ministers of India and Iran concerning their request that Hungary open a humanitarian corridor to the nearest airport for their citizens who reach the Ukrainian-Hungarian border.

“Of course, we will help everyone get home safely,” he said.

The minister told his counterparts that leaving Kyiv by road was extremely difficult, adding, however, that they could count on Hungary’s help.

featured image via MTI/EPA/Szerhij Dolzsenko

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