Martonyi urges association agreement with Ukraine “without delay”
(MTI) – The association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine should be signed as soon as possible, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said on Monday.
Martonyi told the press after an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers that Hungary concurred with the joint EU position.
The ministers condemned Russia’s aggression, which they said had violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Unless Russia reduces tensions it has created, the EU may introduce measures that will have an impact on bilateral relations, such as suspending talks on visa affairs and updating general regulations. “Further, targeted measures could also be considered,” he said.
Martonyi said the Visegrad Four foreign ministers stressed after their recent visit to Ukraine that signing the association agreement with Ukraine was urgently needed. No further decision was necessary in the EU and technical preparations can start, he added.
Another important element of the V4’s joint position was recognising Ukraine’s new government as legitimate, and a financial aid package should be prepared in short order, he said.
Commenting on his impressions after visiting Transcarpathia, he said the idea of autonomy for the region had only come up in Hungary and not in Transcarpathia. If the Ruthenians bring up this issue, then it will be necessary to take into consideration whether it is beneficial for the Hungarian minority which represents only 12 percent of the population. Hungary’s interest is to prevent a Ruthenian-Ukrainian conflict from developing, he added.
Martonyi said it would be irresponsible for Hungary to suggest autonomy or federalism for the region. However, if there were a demand by the Hungarian community of Transcarpathia for the creation of an administrative unit along the Tisza River, then Hungary would lend its support.