“Hungary fully supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; this has always been part of Hungarian foreign policy and will remain so in future”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“In addition, Hungary is paying particular attention to the 150 thousand Hungarians living in Transcarpathia”, the Minister highlighted.

“In accordance with the decision of Ukrainian Parliament, martial law will be coming into force in ten Ukrainian counties on Wednesday, but Transcarpathia is not among these counties”, he told the press.

As he explained, it is always bad news if a state of martial law is declared in a neighbouring country, and it is in the interests of every country, including Hungary, for the countries neighbouring it to be stable and strong, and for conditions there to be peaceful.

“It is bad new for us that relations between Russia and Ukraine are not moving towards a solution and a peaceful resolution”, he pointed out.

At a time when Ukrainians are being regularly conscripted into the army because of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, at the request of  Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) President László Brenzovics Mr. Szijjártó held talks with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, who promised that Transcarpathian Hungarians will not be disproportionately conscripted into the Ukrainian army, and according to local leaders Ukraine is indeed keeping itself to this promise, the Minister told reporters.

“We are talking to the leaders of the Transcarpathian community twice-a-day to enable the continuous evaluation of the situation”, he noted.

“Based on experience, only one scenario has a chance of leading out of this serious situation: the reestablishment and reinforcement of the functioning of the Minsk four-power peace talks”, the Foreign Minister stressed.

“This is the only mechanism that offers a chance to resolve the situation between Russia and Ukraine through talks, and Hungary will be providing all possible support towards this”, he declared.

“The further escalation of the situation would be contrary to Hungary’s interests, and accordingly, in the interests of the security of Transcarpathia, Hungary and the region, we will be supporting all opportunities that facilitate a resolution of the situation through negotiations”, he said.

Late on Monday evening Ukrainian Parliament voted in favour of adopting the implementation of the Presidential order on the declaration of martial law in ten southern counties after border control boats of the Russian Federal Security Service opened fire on three small Ukrainian military vessels on Sunday in the Strait of Kerch, 13-14 nautical miles off the coast of the Crimean peninsula, occupied the ships and towed them to the Port of Kerch, claiming that they had entered Russian waters illegally.

In reply to a question, Mr. Szijjártó also said the labour regulation proposal currently before Hungarian Parliament is about the fact that employees can undertake to do more overtime on a voluntary basis, and if someone wants to work more for more pay then they must be given the opportunity to do so.

((MTI / kormany.hu))