(MTI) – It is in Hungary’s interest that Ukraine should be a democratic, independent state enjoying territorial sovereignty, the Hungarian foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Hungary is one of Ukraine’s oldest friends, it was among the first countries to recognise Ukraine’s independence before, Tibor Navracsics said in Brussels where he took part in a conference of NATO foreign ministers.
Concerning bilateral relations, Navracsics noted two areas of particular importance among Hungary’s interests. These include the situation of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia in western Ukraine and Hungary’s capability to supply gas to Ukraine in case its access to Russian supplies is barred.
“Hungary contributes strategically to maintaining an independent Ukraine and its stability,” the foreign minister said.
The Hungarian community in Ukraine supports the country’s current leadership as Petro Poroshenko had made a commitment to ensure the formation of a separate administrative district of Hungarian localities before he was elected Ukraine’s new president, Navracsics said. Poroshenko also made a commitment to ensure the Hungarian community unrestricted use of their mother tongue and the possibility to create the basic conditions of cultural autonomy, he added.
The Ukrainian president is expected to most certainly live up to these commitments, Navracsics said.
Asked about his bilateral meeting with his Ukrainian colleague, Navracsics said he asked Pavlo Klimkin that Ukraine should, if possible, allow the introduction of dual citizenship for its citizens which is currently banned by Ukrainian law. The Ukrainian side indicated openness to consider the issue in the long term, Navracsics said.
In connection with the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, he noted a uniform view within NATO that Moscow’s steps are unacceptable.
The suspension of cooperation was justified and should be so maintained, he said.
But the approach towards Russia should in the long term be that it should remain part of the European security policy architecture, the minister said.