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Post: Szijjarto told what Ukraine needs to join the EU


Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó. archive photo

Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto: To join the EU, Kiev must guarantee national minorities

UN, 27 February – RIA Novosti, Alan Bulkaty. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with RIA Novosti that if Kiev wants to join the European Union, it must provide strong guarantees for the observance of the rights of national minorities.

Tensions in relations between Ukraine and Hungary arose against the background of discussions about the Ukrainian education law, which significantly reduced the possibility of education in the languages ​​u200bu200bof national minorities. The law came into effect on September 28, 2017, and would come into effect gradually by the end of 2020. Earlier, Szijjártó had said that Hungary will continue to prevent the Ukraine-NATO commission from holding a ministerial meeting because there has been no progress in resolving the issues concerning Budapest.

Asked whether Ukraine should ever consider not joining the EU, Szijjarto said: “I wouldn’t go that far, but I can say that the protection of national communities is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union.” Restores the rights of Hungarians.

“So if one wants to move towards the European Union, it must have very strong guarantees in its national legislation to protect the rights of national communities,” he added.

According to him, Budapest wants Hungarians living in Ukraine to be restored to the rights they had before 2014. “Since 2014, the Ukrainian Rada and the Ukrainian administration have been gradually violating the rights of Hungarians. By September of this year (national – ed.) they were in a situation where the schools of the minorities were to be liquidated.” . This is unacceptable to us,” he said.

He added that at the end of 2022, Kiev has passed a new law on ethnic communities, which only exacerbates the situation.

“I don’t understand why the Ukrainians are doing this and not giving back to the Hungarians the rights they used to have: access to education in their mother tongue from primary school to university, rational access to their mother tongue in Europe. media, public administration. That’s why we call on Ukraine to return these rights to the Hungarians,” he said.

Szijjarto had previously stated that with the initiative of Hungary and Romania, the Council of Europe decided to apply to the Venice Commission regarding the situation of national minorities in Ukraine, and that he hoped Budapest would have to comply with Kiev’s decision.

Prior to that, the Ukrainian language ombudsman, Taras Kremin, said that schools in the region, where a large number of Hungarians live in the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine, had problems in organizing education in the Ukrainian language. According to local media reports, Hungarian flags were removed from public institutions and local villages in the city of Mukachevo, and several heads of Hungarian institutions close to the Transcarpathia Hungarian Cultural Association were dismissed. Tamas Menzer, State Secretary for Bilateral Relations at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the repression of the Hungarian national minority in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia as unacceptable and urged local authorities to stop the “persecution” of Hungarians.

Hungarian President Katalin Nowak said in a letter to Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he commented on the national minorities law regarding the situation of Hungarians in Transcarpathia, but did not respond.

In October, the authorities of the city of Mukachevo in the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine decided to dismantle the Hungarian symbols – the turul eagle found in the Palanok fortress – and replace it with a Ukrainian trident. The head of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto, told the representative of the Ukrainian embassy that there was a protest.

Source: Ria

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