WASHINGTON, October 22 (RIA Novosti) – The existence of corruption among Hungarian officials can be proved with readily available information from numerous sources, Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the US State Department, said Wednesday.
"The entry bans [imposed by the United States against Hungarian officials] are based on a range of authoritative information concerning corruption in the Hungarian government, readily available from numerous sources, such as watchdog NGOs, whistleblowers, and a range of civil society groups charged with upholding government transparency," Harf said in a statement.
According to the deputy spokesperson, Hungary and the United states have "agreed to work together to address concerns about democracy [and] corruption".
Earlier on Wednesday, the Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto asked the US government for evidence, which served as the basis for corruption accusations against several Hungarian officials, who were sanctioned by the United States and denied entry visas on October 18.
According to Hungarian media, the visa ban could be targeting people, associated with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and be a response to Hungary's rapprochement with Russia and critique of the sanctions imposed against Russia by the West.
The United States, the European Union and a number of their allies have imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, accusing it of supporting independence fighters in southeastern Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claim, stressing that sanctions are a counterproductive measure.
Last week, Szijjarto said the sanctions imposed against Russia by the West are not helping in resolving the situation in Ukraine and are hurting the economies of EU member-states.