Stoltenberg hopes Ukraine, Hungary able to find solution in language row

09:20, 29 May 2018
Politics
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REUTERS

NATO is in a very close contact and cooperation with Ukraine, with regular meetings being held with the country's leadership, including President Petro Poroshenko and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw following a NATO PA meeting on Monday, May 28.

He also noted that a bilateral NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting at the Ambassadorial level was set to be held later that day.

Read alsoNATO doesn't plan to cease support of Ukraine despite Hungary's demand

"NATO provides strong political and strong practical support for Ukraine because Ukraine is a close and highly-valued partner," he said.

Stoltenberg recognized he was aware of the challenge in convening the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting at the ministerial level because of the disagreement over the language law between Ukraine and Hungary, which is a NATO Ally.

"I just urge Ukraine and Hungary to try to find a solution to that issue," he said, adding that he had already spoken on the issue both with Prime Minister Viktor Orban and also Petro Poroshenko.

Read alsoPolish FM calls on NATO's Stoltenberg to intervene in Hungary-Ukraine row

"It is about reconciling the need to protect the rights of minorities to speak their languages but also of course the legitimate right of any state to make sure that the people in their country are able to speak the state language. This is a dilemma that I've seen in many countries and it has been possible to find the way to balance those concerns, and I hope there will also be a possibility to find a way to balance that concern in Ukraine.

As reported earlier, Hungary is insisting that NATO review its support programs for Ukraine, thus trying to put pressure on Kyiv to amend the education law in the part of national minority languages, a provision that Hungary finds threatening to rights of a Hungarian minority living in Ukraine.

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