Hungary will stop blocking Ukraine’s NATO accession only after the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia (Kárpátalja) are restored to the level they had been before the introduction of Ukraine’s language law, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday.
Hungary is interested in Ukraine being a stable, democratic and secure country, he said. The stronger and more stable Ukraine is, the better the situation is for ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia, he said.
The rights of ethnic Hungarians were “seriously violated” under the previous president and pressure on them continued to grow in the recent period “in a concealed way, with the assistance of Ukraine’s secret police”, he said.
Hungary has made it clear, Szijjártó said, that it would only lift a veto blocking Ukraine’s NATO accession if the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia are restored as they were before the introduction of Ukraine’s laws on minority language education and language use in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
“We are not asking for anything extra, we are not asking for more rights to ethnic Hungarians, only those that that they used to have before,” he said.