Péter Szijjártó, Hungary Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade called the Ukrainian language law voted on Thursday (April 25) “unacceptable“. The law is violating the rights of the Hungarian national community and evokes the spirit of the outgoing President, Petro Porosenko, who pursued anti-Hungarian policy, Szijjártó said.
The Ukrainian voters however, by a large majority, elected another president – Volodymyr Zelensky – and ended the Porosenko era, noted Peter Szijjártó, who is currently with an official visit in Beijing.
“We hope that, on the basis of mutual respect and with the intention to find a solution, we will be able to clarify with the overwhelmingly elected new president the situation following the laws affecting the rights of the Hungarian national community” the Minister said.
He added that the first statements of the new Ukrainian president could give hope, so after Mr.Zelensky will enter in office, “we will do our utmost to restore the relationship between Ukraine and Hungary” to re-establish the earlier period when the two countries could express positive statements on their relationship.
“Our goal is to be friends with Ukraine, and the latest Ukrainian presidential election results give us some hope,” said Péter Szijjártó to Hungarian news agency.
Image above: Péter Szijjártó (archive)
Hungary officially notified the United Nations on Tuesday, July 24, that it is quitting the approval process of the Global Compact for Migration, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.
It has become clear that differences between Hungary’s position on migration and the UN’s approach are irreconcilable, Szijjarto told a press conference.
“Hungary will maintain its position and no global package can change that”, he added.
“We see migration processes from a different perspective,” he said. The UN believes that migration is unavoidable, beneficial and should be supported, while Hungary considers it a danger to Hungary and Europe, he said, adding that the UN’s aim was to encourage migration whereas Hungary’s goal was to stop it.
“We are interested in solution, not in a scandal, because we have 150 000 Hungarians in TransCarpathian region”, – said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó . “We hope that we can come to a solution, that will not violate the rights of the minorities in Ukraine“. Szijjártó shared with Brussels press corps views of Hungarian government on the situation with the violation of minority language rights in Ukraine, while attending the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels this week.
The European values are the basis of the Hungarian position, namely the respect of minority rights. “First of all the decision of Venice Commission must be respected“, Szijjártó insists. Second, the dialogue between the Ukrainian government, and minorities should be established without delay, and the third request is to restrain from stripping minorities from the rights they have already been granted. Furthermore, the Hungarian government proposes a number of tactical steps to ensure the rights of the language minorities in the line of existing European norms. One of the priority measures could be the decision of the Ukrainian parliament to “postpone the implementation” of the law, depriving minorities of having education in their language, until 2023, and use this period to conduct negotiation with minorities.While launching the digalog, the Ukrainian authorities are expected to open the possibility for private and church school to conduct education in minority languages.
Minister expressed hope that “Ukranian friends” would accept the “requests” of the Hungarian government, searching to protect the minority rights in line with European norms and laws.
The exchange with Brussels press took place in the framework of the monthly European Foreign Affairs Council (28/05/2018), and ahead of the meeting between Minister Szijjártó and the US Secretary of State Pompeo, where is issue of the Hungarian minorities in Ukraine will be also discussed.