Hungary proposes national minorities protection agreement with Ukraine

The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó after a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin on the sidelines of the Warsaw Security Forum invited Ukraine to conclude an agreement on the protection of national minorities.

Evropeiska Pravda reports, citing the Hungarian government’s press service,  that, according to the proposed agreement, both countries should refrain from policies that could lead to the assimilation of national minorities and ethnic structure in a specific region.

“The Ukrainian side promised to consider the proposal,” said Szijjártó, expressing hope that the Hungarian and Ukrainian sides will discuss proposal details at the next meeting in Milan, which is scheduled for December 7.

He noted that he considers the removal of the petition calling for the deportation of the Hungarian national minority representatives from Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) from the Ukrainian parliament’s site as a positive development.

Szijjártó welcomed an investigation of the “false advertising billboards, aimed against the leaders of the Hungarian national minority.”

"Ukrainian government agreed to appoint an official responsible for cross-border economic cooperation. Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Levente Magyar and the appointed Ukrainian officials will meet soon in order to ensure the smooth continuation of the Economic Development Program of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia)," said the minister.

Szijjártó told Klimkin that Hungary is ready to provide a $ 50 million credit line to finance the construction of roads in Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) and continue the program, which provides children affected by the war in the Eastern Ukraine free holidays on Lake Velence.

In the summer of 2018, the Hungarian government appointed István Grezsa to a newly created minister position responsible for the development of the Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) region. Ukraine called this decision interference in internal affairs and an encroachment on territorial integrity.

Vasyl Bodnar, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, said that the Foreign Ministry had to respond sharply to Hungary’s actions in order to restrict the possibility of further movement by the Hungarian side in the direction of “influencing Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) as if it were their own region”.

  Ukraine, Hungary, Zakarpattia, Szijjarto