Ukraine Claims Hungary's Lawmakers Did Not Ask Russia To Help Protect Minorities

KIEV (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 04th December, 2019) The Hungarian parliament could not have asked the Russian lower house to join efforts to protect minority groups in Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Kateryna Zelenko has announced.

According to Russia's lower house (State Duma) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, the Hungarian parliament (National Assembly) has recently asked the State Duma to unite efforts to protect the rights of linguistic minorities in Ukraine.

"In this regard, our embassy in Budapest asked the Hungarian side to verify this information and received a response that, given the fact that the Hungarian National Assembly had not approved such requests, they could have neither orally nor in writing transmitted such information during the Hungarian-Russian negotiations at the parliament level," Zelenko said on Tuesday, as quoted by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

The spokeswoman added that Ukraine and Hungary are partner countries that are capable to resolve their issues independently through dialogue.

On Monday, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador of Hungary to Ukraine Istvan Ijgyarto in connection with the latter's recent statements regarding alleged violations of the rights of people of Hungarian origin in Ukraine.

The ministry handed a note of protest to Ijgyarto, who told the Ukrainian "Evropeyska Pravda" publication in a November 28 interview that the rights of the Hungarian minority residing in Ukraine were being violated and that Hungary was going to continue blocking the activities of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.

Ijgyarto was told at the foreign ministry on Monday that Ukraine's new law on education does not violate the rights of Ukrainians of Hungarian descent, but rather provides more opportunities "for a better self-realization in Ukraine."

In 2012, Ukraine adopted a law that gave regional status to minority languages (Russian among them). After the change of power in 2014, the Ukrainian constitutional court reconsidered the law's legitimacy and eventually ruled it unconstitutional.

In September 2017, under then-president Petro Poroshenko, a new education law came into force in Ukraine. It considerably limited people's opportunity to study in foreign languages.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Sputnik in November that Budapest expected the new Ukrainian leadership to restore the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine.