Josep Borrell: “Developments in Ukraine are worrying”

2021. 02. 11.

The Fidesz-KDNP delegation to the EP and Hungarian MEPs from outside Hungary jointly submitted a written question to Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, requesting a response concerning the unprecedented measures against Hungarians in Transcarpathia. The EPP Group MEPs informed the High Representative about the coordinated law enforcement actions of the Ukrainian Security Service, based on fabricated accusations, in the offices of Hungarian organizations and in the apartment of László Brenzovics, President of the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia (KMKSZ).

In their letter, the MEPs drew attention to the systematic process of minority rights violations since 2017 (which started with the Education Law and the Ukrainian State Language Law), hate speech against Hungarian minority in the Ukrainian media, marches of nationalist paramilitary groups, the listing of Hungarians in Transcarpathia, and the arson and bomb attacks on the headquarters of KMKSZ. The High Representative was asked when the European Commission would break their silence about these events that threaten the existence of a national minority and what the High Representative would do in order to prevent such intimidating acts from happening again.

In his reply, Josep Borrell highlighted that the EU continues to actively protect the rights of persons belonging to minorities, which is ever more important given the worrying developments in Ukraine. He confirmed that Ukraine must respect the rights of persons belonging to minorities, including national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. It must ensure respect for the existing rights of persons belonging to national minorities, non-discrimination and respect for diversity, as enshrined in UN and Council of Europe conventions and related protocols. This is also requested and expected in various bilateral relations with Ukrainian counterparts.

To this end, the EU calls on Ukraine to work closely with Hungary to find a mutually acceptable solution based on common European values ​​and principles and respect for international obligations and commitments.

The Fidesz-KDNP delegation to the EP finds it encouraging that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs is committed to the principles of minority protection and concerned about the situation of the Hungarian community in Ukraine. However it also expects concrete steps to be taken on specific violations and hold Ukrainian authorities accountable to their commitments towards the EU through the Association Agreement.