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No Significant Progress in the Hungarian-Ukrainian Working Group on Education

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.04.05.

The working group on education set up by the Hungarian and Ukrainian governments has met again, but there is still no significant convergence of positions, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Brussels on Thursday.

At a press conference following the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting, the Minister said that the serious dispute with Kiev over the rights of the Hungarian national community in Transcarpathia remains. “We insist that Ukraine must give back to the Hungarian national community the rights they enjoyed nine years ago,” the politician noted. These rights “are a guarantee that the Hungarian national community can preserve its identity through the use of its mother tongue in the education system, culture, public administration, and even the media,” he continued.

He said that the joint working group on education set up by the Hungarian and Ukrainian governments had met again earlier in the day, but that so far there had been no significant convergence of positions. He said it was good news, however, that the group would meet again next week, and that its leaders would also meet separately and hopefully this would bring the process of reversing the disenfranchisement closer.

We are still a long way from that, but I think that the very fact that there are talks should be interpreted as good news,”

he said.

He also mentioned that he had made it clear to the allies that when NATO assesses the progress of the Ukrainian annual national program, the Hungarian government would also take these aspects into account. “We cannot overlook the fact that the Hungarian national community in Transcarpathia has still not regained the rights that were taken away from them.

The allies must also be aware of this, so Hungary insists in all international forums, including NATO forums, that the Transcarpathian community should get back its former rights,”

he underlined.

Péter Szijjártó also pointed out that due to farmers’ demonstrations and road blockades, in many cases trade on the more than 500-kilometer-long Ukrainian Polish border has become practically impossible, and therefore the 136-kilometer-long Hungarian-Ukrainian border is under greater pressure than ever. “This is also creating undignified conditions, as trucks trying to leave Ukraine often have to wait for 14-16 days,” he added.

The Minister announced that

as a result, on Monday, the Hungarian ambassador in Kiev will sign an agreement to open a new border crossing point between Nagyhódos and Velyka Palad’ (Nagypalád), which has long been requested by the Hungarian people of Transcarpathia.

“In addition, we will allow empty trucks to cross the border at the Beregsurány crossing point, which will significantly reduce the load at the Záhony crossing point and reduce the problems for Hungarian companies that also rely on supplies from Ukraine,” he stressed.

No Progress on Minority Rights in Response from Ukrainian Authorities
No Progress on Minority Rights in Response from Ukrainian Authorities

"All we ask is that the rights that the Hungarians of Transcarpathia already had should be restored," said Péter Szijjártó.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Kárpátaljai Magyar Pedagógusszövetség

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