The foreign minister said Hungary has been “extremely generous” in its support of Ukraine in recent years, but still “firmly expects” its north-eastern neighbor to respect the rights of its ethnic Hungarian community.
Speaking in Riga, ahead of talks with his Ukrainian and Georgian counterparts Dmytro Kuleba and David Zalkaliani, Péter Szijjártó said that despite its tensions with Ukraine, Hungary has not suspended its support to the country in recent years. Minister Szijjártó noted that most of the western natural gas imported by Ukraine last year had been shipped via Hungary, and that the Hungarian government had organised summer camps for thousands of Ukrainian children from families affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine. Further, Hungarian hospitals have treated dozens of Ukrainian soldiers and Hungary has donated more than 100 ventilators to the country. Hungary is also giving more financial aid to Ukrainian hospitals, cultural institutions, schools and churches, he added.
“We’re extremely generous and we will continue to be,” Minister Szijjártó said. He added, at the same time, that hopefully the Ukrainian authorities would respect the rights of the country’s ethnic Hungarian community in the future, arguing that Ukraine was “constantly infringing on their rights”. Minister Szijjártó called on Kiev to restore the rights of its minority communities.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter