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May 23, 2018

Hungary will initiate a new NATO policy on Ukraine for the protection of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia

The government's memorandum will be sent to the prime ministers of all NATO member states and the secretary-general of the military alliance

The Hungarian government has announced that it will initiate a new NATO policy on Ukraine for the protection of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia.

The government said that despite the unprecedented level of political support and financial assistance provided by NATO, EU, IMF, World Bank and a large number of states, the Ukrainian government lacks the political will and the capacity to carry out the fundamental reform programs required by its international donors to overhaul the economic, political and social system of the country.

“The lack of progress in key reform areas and the continued assault of the state on minority rights have led to a dangerous level of instability. The failure to properly implement a credible modernization agenda, aligned with the international commitments and criteria that Ukraine had previously agreed to, means that the already fragile country is becoming more vulnerable to domestic and external pressure,” the government said.

“Ukraine has come to pose a security challenge to its neighbors, including Hungary”, it added. The government said that Ukraine was again ignoring a number of its international obligations and commitments while legislation aimed at curtailing minority rights was continuously introduced.

In order to maintain Ukraine’s NATO integration process, it is imperative that Ukraine fulfils all obligations that it undertook in its annual national program, among them the protection of minority rights.

MTI states that the laws adopted or to be adopted by the Ukrainian legislature are contrary to the commitments Ukraine had previously undertaken towards NATO.

Furthermore, these laws directly harm the rights and interests of citizens and minority groups belonging to NATO member states, the government said.

“Therefore, to maintain Ukraine’s NATO integration process, we propose that the Ukrainian government ensures that minority groups belonging to NATO member states are exempted from the implementation of laws that restrict the rights of national minorities. While this solution does not, of course, meet the requirement of non-discrimination, it does, however, provide an opportunity to keep Ukraine on the path of NATO integration. Otherwise, the credibility of Ukraine’s integration process becomes highly questionable,” it said.

“In order to preserve stability in our immediate eastern neighborhood, NATO must adapt its policy on Ukraine to these new circumstances,” the government said.

The memorandum will be sent to the prime ministers of all NATO member states and the secretary-general of the military alliance.