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Foreign Minister: Developments in Hungary-Ukraine Relations ‘Cause for Cautious Optimism’

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.05.13.

Recent developments in Hungarian-Ukrainian ties are cause for “cautious optimism”, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said, after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, on Thursday.

After the meeting at Hungary’s embassy in Bratislava, Szijjártó told Hungarian reporters that “actions in Ukraine against the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia in the recent past” was a reason for the two countries’ strained relations.

“Steps taken forward in the past few days however give cause for cautious optimism,” Szijjártó said.

Ukraine-Hungary Relations Worrying, says Ethnic Hungarian KMKSZ Party
Ukraine-Hungary Relations Worrying, says Ethnic Hungarian KMKSZ Party

László Brenzovics, the leader of Trancarpathian Hungarian cultural association KMKSZ, said Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and the situation of the region’s Hungarian community had taken a worrying turn, and called for bilateral talks in an interview published in pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet on Monday. “Nationalism has been running rampant” in Ukraine since 2014, Brenzovics said, citing “unprecedented […]Continue reading

He welcomed that a meeting of the Hungarian-Ukrainian working group on education on Wednesday, “a solution was outlined that would ease for Transcarpathian Hungarians the use of their mother tongue, even with the current legislation in place”. At the meeting an agreement was also drafted on the mutual accreditation of degrees and certificates, Szijjártó said.

Szijjártó said he and Kuleba agreed to convene the Hungarian-Ukrainian mixed committee on minority affairs, in the hope of “resolving difficult issues besides education.”

He said that Kuleba welcomed Hungary’s proposal that Hungary and Ukraine should mutually accept each other’s immunity certificates, issued for citizens vaccinated against the coronavirus, to enable free travel for them to both countries.

Later in the day, Szijjártó is scheduled to attend a meeting with the foreign ministers of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia, and another with the leaders of Slovakia’s Hungarian Community Party (MKP).

In the featured photo: Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (left) with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.  Photo by Mátyás Borsos/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI