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US Ambassador Sends Putin Strongly-Worded Message On Day Of Budapest Visit

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.02.18.

United States ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell hosted a lunch on Tuesday, the day of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Budapest visit, for her counterparts representing NATO member states and Mykhailo Yunger, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine, who was the guest of honour.

Ms. Bell said in a speech posted by the US embassy online that the true test of the Minsk agreement would be in its full implementation, including the end of violence, and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border.

“We were all cautiously optimistic – maybe cautiously hopeful is a better way to put it – about the further pledges that were made in Minsk last week to stop the fighting in Ukraine,” she said. Ceasefire implementation has been fragile and the United States calls for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which apply in and around Debaltseve as well, she added.

“Our unity on sanctions has sent a clear message to Russia that we cannot be divided. And our collective message has also made clear that we do not accept the vision of ‘New Russia,’ we do not accept Moscow’s explanation for the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, we do not accept missile attacks on civilians in Mariupol, and we do not accept continued falsehoods about the recruiting, arming and equipping of separatists who are murdering and maiming innocent people including defenseless children. We say no to this. We say yes to Ukraine’s sovereignty,” the ambassador said.

The event was attended by foreign ministry deputy state secretary Levente Benkő, the ambassadors of Poland, Italy, Canada, Slovakia, Lithuania and the Czech Republicand the charge d’affaires from Norway, Latvia and Germany.

photo: Túry