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Dec 05, 2018

FM: Hungary will continue to monitor Ukraine's minority policies

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary will continue blocking NATO-Ukraine Committee meetings as long as Ukraine systematically curbs the rights of ethnic Hungarians living there

The foreign minister has said Hungary takes a stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence but will keep monitoring its policies affecting minorities.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary will continue blocking NATO-Ukraine Committee meetings as long as Ukraine systematically curbs the rights of ethnic Hungarians living there.

During a break from a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, Minister Szijjártó told a press conference that protecting ethnic minorities is no different to security concerns.

“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,” he said. The protection of minority rights is inseparable from security issues, he added.

The minister said that guaranteeing minority rights is part and parcel of security and stability, and it is no accident that Ukraine committed itself in its annual national program to maintaining, expanding and respecting minority rights.

Minister Szijjártó said 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. The ball is in Ukraine’s court, he added.