“Hungary has proposed that Ukraine concludes a minority protection treaty”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI from Warsaw, where he held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin, on the sidelines of a security policy forum. Trust between the two countries needs to be rebuilt, he added.

According to the announced proposal, the two countries would refrain from practicing policies that could lead to the assimilation of national communities, and which would change the make-up of nationalities within a given region. The treaty would guarantee minorities the free use of their native language with relation to the practicing of religion, culture, education and public administration procedures.

“The Ukrainian party promised to examine the proposal”, Mr. Szijjártó said, expressing his hope that the Hungarian and Ukrainian parties will discuss the details of proposal at their next meeting in Milan, which is scheduled for 7 December.

“It is clear that the road towards the rebuilding of trust between the two countries must be walked in small steps”, the Minister underlined, explaining that he regards it as positive that the petition calling for the deportation of the Hungarian national community from Transcarpathia has been removed from the Ukrainian Parliament’s website.

“We also regard it as extremely positive that the Ukrainian party has taken seriously the fact that this issue is totally unworthy of 21st century Europe”, the Foreign Minister declared. As he explained, he and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin recently agreed that “the word disgusting would not have been an overstatement with relation to the petition”.

Mr. Szijjártó said it was also a positive development that the Ukrainian authorities have launched an investigation into the “mendacious billboards aimed at leaders of the Hungarian national minority”.

“An agreement has been reached on the fact that the Ukrainian Government will be appointing a government official responsible for cross-border economic cooperation”, the Minister also stated.

“In the interests of ensuring the smooth continuation of the Transcarpathian Economic Development Programme, Deputy Foreign Minister Levente Magyar and the appointed Ukrainian official will be meeting at the earliest opportunity”, he indicated.

“In the spirit of rebuilding the foundations of trust”, he also indicated to Minster Klimkin that Hungary is ready to activate a 50-million-dollar credit line for the financing of road construction in Transcarpathia, Mr. Szijjártó also told the press.

“Hungary is also prepared to continue the programme within the framework of which it has already provided thousands of children affected by the war in Eastern Ukraine with free vacations at Lake Velence”, he continued.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, he also indicated to Mr. Klimkin that Hungary will also continue to provide one hundred state-sponsored scholarships for Ukrainian students to attend Hungarian universities.

“It is in Hungary’s interests for the conflict that has developed to be resolved as quickly as possible”, Mr. Szijjártó said, adding: “That would be good for everyone; not just for Ukraine and Hungary, but primarily for the Hungarian national community living in Transcarpathia.