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Oct 31, 2019

Hungary vetoes joint declaration of NATO ambassadors on Ukraine

The Foreign Minister said Hungary rejected the proposal because it did not compel Ukraine to hand back rights it stripped from the ethnic Hungarian minority.

The Foreign Minister has revealed that Hungary vetoed a joint declaration of NATO ambassadors on Ukraine.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary rejected the proposal because it did not compel Ukraine to hand back rights it stripped from the ethnic Hungarian minority. He said Hungary was not prepared to sacrifice the interests of 150,000 ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine to geopolitical interests.

The Minister said Hungary submitted several amendment proposals to the declaration stating that Ukraine must fulfill its duties towards minorities according to international law, and several of the proposals were based on the tenets of the Council of Europe and the United Nations. Since these proposals were rejected, “we had no other choice than to veto the declaration,” he added.

Minister Szijjártó said the interests of the 150,000-strong Hungarian minority in western Ukraine are not so important on the other side of the ocean. “But we live here in central and eastern Europe, and the interest of a Hungarian is a enough reason for us to stand by him.”

The Minister said stripping the rights of a minority belonging to one of the NATO member states should at least merit mention in such a document, adding that the document should include a clause on reinstating those rights.