Hungary cannot support Ukraine's EU integration goals: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-28 03:53:51|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

BUDAPEST, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Hungary cannot support Ukraine's EU integration goals and has vetoed the NATO-Ukraine Committee session of December, Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade here on Friday at a press conference.

Szijjarto explained that until the beginning of September, Hungary had been the loudest and most active supporter of Ukraine's EU integration aspirations, but considered the adoption of the new Ukrainian Education Act as "stab in the back".

"We would be happy today" to remain supporters of Ukraine's aspirations, but only those countries merit our help, that acted correspondingly through their decisions and behavior regarding Hungary receive Hungary's support, Szijjarto pointed.

Szijjarto recalled that when the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the law on education, Hungary warned that it would make use of all of its diplomatic tools to make Ukraine revoke the law, which "brutally mutilates" the rights of minorities living in the country.

The law is a serious step back in the area of "minority rights, and "we cannot leave it without speaking up," he added.

Similar steps are to be expected in the future too, Szijjarto underlined, until the situation is properly remedied.

He said there were no loopholes to circumvent the Hungarian decision, as a unanimous decision is necessary to convene the NATO-Ukraine Committee.

Porosenko signed the new Ukrainian Education Act on Sept. 25, despite the numerous criticisms from neighboring countries following its adoption by the Ukrainian Parliament on Sept. 5.

According to the new law, the national minorities in Ukraine will be educated from the 5th grade upwards in Ukrainian language. This concerns all subjects, except for the subjects of the mother tongue (like grammar and literature).

Hungary lost two-thirds of its territories after the First World War, and as a consequence, large Hungarian ethnic minorities, close to 1.5 million people live in neighboring countries, most of them in Romania and Slovakia, and but also some 150,000 in Ukraine.

Hungary has said to block and veto any move that could bring Ukraine closer to Europe in its integration process in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Program.