Fidesz lawmaker Barna Pál Zsigmond said that as a member country of the Council of Europe (CoE), Ukraine has the obligation to observe CoE minority protection conventions, yet the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia has been subject to continued persecution by local authorities in the recent past.
On the sidelines of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Strasbourg, Zsigmond said that it is unacceptable that the Hungarian community has not been ensured appropriate protection in Ukraine, not even in the framework of bilateral agreements, despite the fact that Hungary has always stood up for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and it fully supports that country’s Euro-Atlantic endeavors.
Zsigmond said legislation guaranteeing the rights of Hungarian minorities existed before, adding that there had been setbacks by Kiev’s leadership as regards those rights. He said Ukraine’s minority protection regime was working well before and allowed the Hungarian minority to use its mother tongue in education. “But this possibility was forcefully eliminated by the political leadership of Ukraine,” he said.