12:59 18 Jan 2021

Ukraine and Hungary working on a "gentleman's" agreement

Ukraine and Hungary continue to work on a joint document that will help resolve disputes in bilateral relations.

Deputy Head of the Office of the President Ihor Zhovkva stated this in an interview with TSN.ua.

"We have repeatedly stated that it would be desirable for Ukraine to conclude a relevant agreement or treaty between Ukraine and Hungary, which would regulate this set of issues. The so-called gentlemen's agreement is an agreement on parity, equality, mutual benefit of relations. Such a document is being worked on; under the President's order, the Ukrainian party prepared such a document, handed over to the Hungarian party, received their reaction, and now the process is on," Zhovkva said.

The Deputy Head of the OP recalled that on January 27, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó would arrive in Ukraine and hold several official meetings, at which, according to him, the whole range of issues would be discussed.

In the meantime, Zhovkva stressed that at the ministerial level, the so-called "road map" for settling controversial interstate issues wouldn't be signed.

"And when it's ready, we will see. It may be signed at the level of leaders of states, in this case, the Prime Minister of Hungary and the President of Ukraine," he explained.

The Deputy Head of the OP also noted that the date of the visit of the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán to Kyiv was not yet decided and "it'll appear when both sides are ready for it."

As reported, relations between Ukraine and Hungary deteriorated after the adoption of the Ukrainian law on education in September 2017. It stipulates that teaching in the mother tongue in schools and minority classes will take place only in primary school. Previously, such training was possible in both middle school and high school. In Hungary, they saw this as an attack on the rights of the Hungarian minority.

Hungary also announced that it would block Ukraine's further integration into the EU and NATO. In particular, Budapest stated that it would block the meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission until the issue of the language of education of the Hungarian national minority in Zakarpattia was resolved.

As you know, a new aggravation in relations began after a series of searches conducted by the SBU in Zakarpattia and reports of criminal proceedings against Hungarian officials.

The crisis was further exacerbated by incorrect statements by representatives of the Hungarian ruling party about the situation in Ukraine.

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