Warsaw, February 17 (MTI) – It is feared there will be ethnic Hungarian victims in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, a Hungarian official said on Tuesday.
A military unit dispatched from western Ukraine, where there is a large Hungarian minority, has been surrounded in the area of Debaltseve, the head of Hungarian parliament’s foreign affairs committee Zsolt Nemeth said in Lodz in a panel discussion of the 8th Europe-Ukraine Forum.
Nemeth welcomed the second accord signed recently in Minsk, but said it is regrettable that the ceasefire agreed on had been only partially enforced.
Commenting on the mid-term security policy challenges of the Ukraine conflict, he said it is in Hungary’s interest that the Eastern Partnership meeting in Riga conclude successfully in May, and one precondition is that the European Union should offer the outlook of EU accession to member countries that are well prepared. “Riga will be a test for common security policy,” he added.
Asked whether the pursuit of southern neighbourhood policy would work to the detriment of the central and eastern European area, Nemeth said that if solidarity is shown to them, “it can be expected that the countries that expressly feel threatened in this area will also demonstrate solidarity with us”.
Commenting on the common security policy interests of Hungary and Poland, he said it is in Hungary’s interest that Ukraine should be considered a central and eastern European country and therefore a highlighted area in Hungarian-Polish cooperation.
“If we can act successfully in Ukraine’s interest then the problem will become part of the solution,” he added.
Nemeth emphasised the need for continuous high-level political dialogue between the two countries. He noted Prime Minister Viktor Orban would meet his Polish counterpart Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw on Thursday and their talks will also cover joint security policy issues.