Mukacheve (MTI) – The Hungarian government calls on its Ukrainian partners to “stop hassling” ethnic Hungarian organisations and on lawmakers to abandon bills curbing minority rights, the foreign ministry’s state secretary Levente Magyar told MTI in Mukacheve (Munkács), in western Ukraine, on Friday.
Referring to the European Parliament’s acceptance of a visa waiver for Ukraine on Thursday, Magyar noted that the Hungarian government had a “major role” in this outcome, entering even into conflicts with its European partners so as to enable the citizens of hard-pressed Ukraine to enter the European Union without a visa.
“We find it therefore particularly unfair that Ukrainian authorities keep up practices designed to intimidate the Hungarian minority and harass ethnic Hungarian organisations. The most worrying, however, is legislation submitted to parliament which, if accepted, will curb the rights of ethnic Hungarians”, Magyar said.
Straining Hungarian-Ukrainian friendship can have adverse effects not only on ethnic Hungarians and Hungary but on Ukraine too, he added.
At a late March meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto protested against planned amendments to Ukraine’s language law, education law and citizenship law that could hurt the rights of ethnic Hungarian communities of the country. Should this happen, Hungary will not hesitate to address the issue at EU forums, he said.