“Hungary is proposing the establishment of an intergovernmental working group tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Venice Commission’s opinion regarding Ukraine”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday in New York.

The UN Security Council is discussing the situation in Ukraine, and on the sidelines of the current session, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó will be holding talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin in New York.

Prior to the meeting, Mr. Szijjártó told the press: “By violating the rights of the Hungarian national minority, Ukraine has given rise to a situation that is bad for everyone”. “It is bad for Ukraine, it is bad for Hungary, and it is primarily bad for the minorities living on the territory of Ukraine, including Transcarpathian Hungarians”, he explained.

DownloadPéter Szijjártó and Pavlo Klimkin

“Hungary has no interest in a dispute, but in finally finding a solution to this situation, which is bad for everyone involved”, the Minister emphasised. “Our goal is for Transcarpathian Hungarians to be given back the rights that they were previously afforded and guaranteed”, he declared. “Our goal is also to enable us to return to our policy, which in Ukraine’s case was built on supporting our neighbours’ European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes”, he added.

“For this reason, Hungary is proposing to the Ukrainian Government that it establishes an intergovernmental working group that will be tasked with monitoring the implementation of the tasks that the Venice Commission has set down with relation to Ukraine”, the Foreign Minister emphasised. “The Venice Commission stipulated that the Ukrainian authorities must consult with national minorities and must refrain from restricting previously acquired rights”, he reminded the press.

“Hungary is happy to work in cooperation with Ukraine in monitoring the implementation of the Venice Commission’s decision, and is happy to assist Ukraine in this in the interests of assuring that the rights of the 150 thousand Transcarpathian Hungarians are not violated in future”, he added.

The Hungarian Government has always been open to negotiations, as also indicated by the fact that he is meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart not in Budapest or Kiev, but thousands of miles away in New York, Mr. Szijjártó said.

The Hungarian minority in Ukraine has also always been open to negotiations, on talks that are “fair, honest, and truly concern the issue”, he noted.

“Hungary is calling for the establishment of a working group with the participation of the leaders of the Ministries responsible for foreign affairs and education, and representatives of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, to monitor the implementation of the decision of the Venice Commission”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister stated.