Hungary pressurizing Ukraine to get dividends from Russia - Foreign Ministry

Hungary pressurizing Ukraine to get dividends from Russia - Foreign Ministry

The Hungarian side's statements about the possibility of taking steps to slow Ukraine's integration into the EU due to the "passport" scandal are in the interests of Russia and can be regarded as the use of this situation to obtain certain dividends in negotiations with Moscow, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar has told Ukrinform.

"This approach is not in line with the policy of good neighborly relations and partnership with Ukraine. The steps already taken by Hungary have a certain goal, and, as far as I understand, it is not at all a concern for the rights of Ukrainian Hungarians. Similar statements are in the interests of not even Hungary, but of a certain third party, which has long tried to block our movement along the European and Euro-Atlantic way. It can be assumed that they are trying to use such an approach to receive certain dividends from a third party, that is from Moscow, in negotiations that are of interest to Hungary," he said.

Bodnar added that this, of course, is a potential threat to Ukraine. In this context, he recalled that after the June meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Hungary, the Hungarian side blocked a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the highest level, appointed an authorized person responsible for the development of Zakarpattia region, and then a video emerged with the distribution of Hungarian passports to Ukrainians with a recommendation to conceal this fact from the Ukrainian authorities.

"This is not a coincidence. Moreover, the agreements reached between the ministers during the telephone conversation [on August 31 concerning the change of the name of the envoy for 'Zakarpattia region'] are not being implemented. So now we have a question as to how we can reach agreement with the Hungarian issue," the deputy minister said.

He noted that Ukraine, unfortunately, faces Hungary's unwillingness to cooperate. Instead, the Hungarian side is trying to use the methods of blackmail. On the other hand, the requirements of the Venice Commission regarding the language clause of Ukraine's law on education, in particular with regard to the extension of the transition period, are gradually being fulfilled.

Commenting on the "passport" scandal, Bodnar noted that Budapest's reaction shows that Hungary is aware of the illegality of these actions.

"They are beginning to threaten us with further aggravation only because we pay attention to the violation by Hungarian consuls of the legislation of our state and their possible responsibility - it's not about expulsion or not expulsion, but about solving this problem in general. This means that they feel the inevitability of this responsibility and the fact that it was done illegally, in violation of Ukrainian legislation and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations," he said.

He noted that there are "many nuances" in Hungary's actions as a foreign state interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs so they must get the final legal qualification and a respective decision of Ukraine.

When asked about possible concrete steps that Hungary may take to slow Ukraine's integration into Europe, Bodnar noted that it is not clear how the Hungarian side will behave in addressing specific issues concerning Ukraine.

"Anything can be expected here. We do not know that the Hungarian side will want to restrain or block something, because the level of relations with the European Union is broad - from a political dialogue to a free trade area, that is, a large set of issues," Bodnar said.

He stressed that the Ukrainian side would not be watching Hungary's interference in Ukraine's internal affairs.

"Of course, we will defend our position. We will appeal accordingly through our embassies, we will explain through the direct contacts of the minister, the head of state will speak at the UN, and my colleagues and I will have contacts," he said.

On September 20, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after a scandal with the issuance of Hungarian passports to Hungarians in Zakarpattia region that Hungary could take further measures to slow Ukraine's integration into the EU.

In an interview with Russian propaganda television channel RT on September 21, Szijjarto called on the EU to discuss sanctions against Russia, rather than extend them automatically.


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