FM: Hungary-Ukraine intergovernmental working group should begin consultations to resolve differences

The foreign minister said “extreme elements and manifestations” must be eliminated from Hungarian-Ukrainian relations.


The foreign minister said “extreme elements and manifestations” must be eliminated from Hungarian-Ukrainian relations.

After talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev, Péter Szijjártó said he had proposed that the intergovernmental working group set up to resolve the two countries’ differences on Ukraine’s education law should begin consultations. If the group is able to work out a solution regarding the matter, “it could remove a heavy burden from bilateral relations,” Minister Szijjártó said.

The minister added that his Ukrainian counterpart had promised that the working group would soon convene and assured him that Hungary and Ukraine would consult on the minority bills the Ukrainian government was drafting. Minister Szijjártó said Hungary viewed Transcarpahtian ethnic Hungarians as an asset and a link between the two countries.

“When we support the ethnic Hungarian community, we’re also strengthening Hungarian-Ukrainian cooperation in line with our beliefs,” he said. “So we ask Ukraine’s citizens to see the support coming from Hungary in that light.”

In regards to bilateral projects, Minister Szijjártó said the plans for the revamp of a bridge over the river Tisza near Záhony were complete and that Hungary was prepared to open new border crossing points between Nagyhódos and Palád. Also, the government is prepared to support road construction projects in Transcarpathia with a 50 million euro loan, he added.

Hungary has so far supported 34,000 Transcarpathian development project bids with HUF 16 billion (EUR 44.6m) in loans and is prepared to extend the M3 and M34 motorways to the Ukrainian border and contribute to building the country’s infrastructure, the minister added.

Concerning humanitarian support, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary has hosted 2,300 Ukrainian children from families affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine in summer camps. The camps will be organised again this summer if the pandemic allows it, he added.

In response to a question, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary has so far treated 42 Ukrainian soldiers injured in the fighting in the country’s eastern Donbass region, adding that this program, too, would continue. The minister also noted that Hungary has donated 50 ventilators to Ukraine, 46 of which have gone to hospitals outside Transcarpathia.

Photo credit: MTI