The Hungarian government made it clear several years ago that it will not support convening the NATO-Ukraine Commission until the rights of Hungarians in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia (Kárpátalja) region are restored, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Bucharest on Tuesday.
Szijjártó confirmed to Hungarian public news channel M1 the information of the Financial Times that the government upholds its position on the matter. The foreign minister of Ukraine will only participate in the working dinner, Szijjártó said on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
He said that ever since the war in Ukraine had broken out, “everybody can see that our country has not been addressing the issue of the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians”.
“This is not a new Hungarian position, we made it clear years ago that as long as the Hungarian national community living in Transcarpathia does not regain the rights they are entitled to, Hungary will not agree to the convening of a formal meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission”, he said.
“We are not bringing the issue up while we have not forgotten about it, either” Szijjarto said, expressing hope that once the war is over, the opportunity will arise to start discussions about the matter again.
At the NATO meeting, he said, an informal “non-paper” proposal was put forward concerning the NATO-Ukraine Commission which Hungary and Turkey rejected to sign. Szijjártó said the working dinner to be attended by the Ukrainian foreign minister “would provide an appropriate platform for consultations as required by NATO member states”.