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Áder to Zelensky: ‘Rights of Hungarians in Ukraine more Restricted than in the Soviet Union’

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.05.21.

Hungarian President János Áder met his new Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and discussed the problems facing Ukraine’s ethnic Hungarian community.

After Zelensky’s inauguration in Kiev on Monday, Áder proposed in the talks setting up a joint committee to serve as a forum for discussing all disagreements between Hungary and Ukraine.

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Speaking to MTI afterwards, Áder said his counterpart supported the proposal.

“Our interest lies in fostering equally stable and peaceful relations with Ukraine — our most populous neighbour — as with our other neighbours,” Áder said. The PResident added that

I made it clear that the Hungarian community of Transcarpathia isn’t asking for more than for Ukraine to honour the obligations it is bound to by its constitution and international treaties”

Áder said the rights of Ukraine’s Hungarian community were more restricted than they had been under the Soviet Union. “This is unacceptable in a democracy.”

He welcomed, however, Zelensky’s openness to discussing and resolving disputed issues relating to Transcarpathian Hungarians, such as those of dual citizenship or Ukraine’s education and language laws.

Will Ukraine’s Attitude Towards Its Ethnic Minorities Change?

Áder invited his new counterpart to visit Hungary with a view to discussing other matters such as the upgrade of border stations and the environmental protection of border areas.

Áder described his meeting with Zelensky as an “encouraging start” and said that hopefully it would soon be followed up with a bilateral meeting of experts and eventually another presidential meeting.

In the featured photo: János Áder meeting his new Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI

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