Hungarian govt to propose to Ukraine restoring ties – media

15:00, 04 July 2019
Politics
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REUTERS

Hungary will propose to Ukraine's new president that bilateral relations should "return to the old path", an era when the Hungarian community in Ukraine's Zakarpattia region could fully exercise their acquired minority rights, the foreign minister said on the sidelines of an international conference on Wednesday.

Péter Szijjártó attended a conference on reforms in Ukraine in Toronto, Hungary Today reports.

Szijjártó claimed that the previous president, Petro Poroshenko, pursued an anti-Hungarian policy. The education and language laws adopted during his term violate the Hungarian community's rights, he said. The laws are in conflict with European standards, as well as with international law and bilateral obligations, he said.

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Now with a new president in office, there is hope that Ukraine will not continue to pursue an anti-Hungarian policy, he said, adding that Volodymyr Zelensky's statements "had so far been encouraging", giving hope for optimism.

The question is whether Zelensky will make sure that legal changes are implemented to "return the rights of the Hungarian community" after the autumn parliamentary elections, Szijjártó said.

"Should this happen, Hungary will then support convening a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine committee," said the foreign minister.

Hungary will then also be ready to carry out a comprehensive economic cooperation plan with Ukraine including a EUR 50 million tied aid program supporting road construction in Zakarpattia, Szijjártó said.

Hungary also stands ready to resume the work of the joint economic and environment protection committees, and to continue its Zakarpattia economic development program, he added.

Szijjártó said he had held bilateral talks with Stepan Kubiv, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine, Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for Ukraine, and Pekka Haavisto, Finland's foreign minister.

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