Uzhhorod, Ukraine, January 23 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó held talks with the board of the Hungarian Cultural Federation in Transcarpathia (KMKSZ) and local leaders of western Ukraine in Ungvár (Uzhhorod) on Friday.
At KMKSZ’s headquarters Szijjarto and his partners discussed the situation of the ethnic Hungarian community in Transcarpathia in light of the recent military mobilisation.
They also discussed the planned territorial-administrative reform in Ukraine and the issue of education in minority languages.
Szijjártó also met Vasil Hubal, the governor of Transcarpathia, and Volodomir Chubirko, chairman of the Regional Council.
They discussed the situation of Transcarpathia Hungarians, as well as cooperation in infrastructure and cross-border development projects.
Szijjártó and Chubirko signed an agreement on the third phase of a 155 million forint (EUR 498,000) grant to be provided to Transcarpathia under the EU’s Eastern Partnership Programme.
He also signed an agreement with Volodomir Slivka, rector of the Uzhhorod State University, on a 6 million forint Hungarian government grant to be provided to the university’s Hungarian department and the local Institute of Hungarian Studies.
The Hungarian government keeps close tabs on the recent round of military mobilisation in Ukraine and cooperates with the Hungarian community of Transcarpathia in preventing the disproportionate mobilisation of ethnic Hungarians, Szijjártó told a press conference.
The minister reaffirmed Hungary’s interest in a stable and strong Ukraine, which coincides with the interests of Transcarpathia Hungarians as well.
As a friend of Ukraine, Hungary considers it important to settle sensitive issues such as enforcing minority rights in Ukraine’s new language law and considering the ethnic composition of the population during the territorial-administrative reform.
After talks in Berehove, Szijjártó said it was important that even after the next public administration reform of Ukraine, there should be a district in Transcarpathia where ethnic Hungarians are in majority.
At present Ukraine has one such district, the one around Berehove.
Szijjártó held talks with leaders of the major Hungarian churches of Transcarpathia, the mayor of Berehove, senior officials of the district and ethnic Hungarian businesspeople.
Szijjártó said that under the arrangements of the Eastern Partnership programme, the Hungarian government provided 20 million forints support for the operation of the three major churches.