Hungary and Ukraine must find solutions to problems in bilateral relations on their own, EU spokesperson comments on conflict
The European Union has a consistent view on relations with Ukraine, but cannot interfere in bilateral relations between Ukraine and Hungary.
EU spokesperson Peter Stano stated it at a briefing in Brussels.
That's how he answered journalists' questions about the EU's reaction to the escalation of relations between Ukraine and Hungary after the Hungarian Foreign Minister's intervening in the local elections in Ukraine, and the diplomatic reaction of Kyiv officials to such events.
"This issue belongs to the sphere of bilateral relations between countries. The only thing the EU can do is to call on all those involved in these bilateral problems to try solving them based on EU values and principles and on the principles of good neighborly relations. In a broader sense, regarding Ukraine's European aspirations, I can only confirm what has already been said on behalf of all 27 EU countries, which restated that Ukraine is an important neighbor, a country we have many ties with, and a huge amount of cooperation," Stano said.
He reminded that the EU has an Association Agreement with Ukraine being the most ambitious of all partner countries. The European Union pursues a consistent policy to bring Ukraine as close to the EU as possible, taking into account the ambitions of the Ukrainian people and the results of the Ukrainian authorities in meeting the expectations and requirements set by the European party in such relations.
"There are no changes in the EU's policy towards Ukraine. We confirmed this policy at the EU-Ukraine summit earlier this month," the EU spokesperson said.
Answering additional questions about whether Hungary's position could influence the EU's consensus decisions on Ukraine, Stano emphasized that his authority did not include commenting on remarks or declarations made on relations between the two countries trying to resolve any differences between them.
"The mainline is that there are no changes in any decisions regarding Ukraine, no matter who said what. The EU continues to work closely with Ukraine, based on a very clear set of criteria, expectations, and agreements, and it's not changing at the moment. I will not speculate whether it may change later on. EU decisions are taken unanimously as to relations with third countries and especially regarding their approaching to the EU. At the moment, we have decisions already being taken. We had a very successful EU-Ukraine summit, where all these positions were confirmed," the EU spokesperson added.
Later, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Siarto called Ukraine's decision pathetic and said that in this way Ukraine refused the Hungarian support in Ukraine's efforts in Euro-Atlantic integration.