The Hungarian foreign ministry maintains its position that “we will stand up for Transcarpathia Hungarians, and will not allow the curbing of their acquired rights,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday in response to remarks by Ukrainian politicians made earlier in the day.
At a government meeting on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Minister of Education Liliya Hrynevych said Szijjártó’s remarks according to which Ukraine should refrain from putting in practice the new education law until consultations are held with ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia were “manipulative”. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described Szijjártó’s remarks as “shameless and unacceptable”.
Szijjártó said in response that “we cannot be persuaded to back off either with blackmail or abusive comments.”
He called on members of the Ukrainian government to observe international law and “stop trying to take away acquired rights” from the ethnic Hungarian minority.
Transcarpathia Hungarians have the right to education in their mother tongue, as declared by several international agreements, he added.
The Hungarian government supports all forms of consultations between the Ukrainian government and Transcarpathia Hungarians but the talks must focus on real problems and ethnic Hungarians’ rights must not be curbed, he said.