Hungary takes a stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence but will keep monitoring its policies affecting minorities, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.
Hungary will continue blocking NATO-Ukraine Committee meetings as long as Ukraine systematically curbs the rights of ethnic Hungarians living there, Szijjártó told a press conference in a break during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
We are under great pressure to give up our position. But if we give it up, we will have no other tool for protecting the interests of ethnic Hungarian communities.”
The protection of minority rights is inseparable from security issues, Szijjártó said. Guaranteeing minority rights is part and parcel of security and stability, and it is no accident that Ukraine committed itself in its annual national programme to maintaining, expanding and respecting minority rights, he added.
Hungary will surrender its veto only if Ukraine takes steps to restore the rights of ethnic Hungarians as enshrined in bilateral agreements and international legal regulations, Szijjártó said. The ball is in Ukraine’s court, he added.
via MTI featured photo illustration: Péter Szijjártó és Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine photo by Árpád Szabó/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade