Hungary's foreign minister ‘outraged’ at Ukraine’s Kuleba being invited to NATO meeting

5 April, 10:52 AM
Péter Szijjártó (Photo:Szijjártó Péter/Facebook)

Péter Szijjártó (Photo:Szijjártó Péter/Facebook)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said he was unhappy about the NATO-Ukraine Commission resuming its work and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba being invited to an alliance meeting in Brussels, Szijjártó said in a post on Facebook on April 4.

“The invitation to the minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine violates the principle of unity of the allies within NATO, but for the sake of constructiveness, we will participate in the (meeting),” Szijjártó wrote.

However, Budapest will stop blocking Ukraine's accession to NATO "only on the condition that Hungarians in (the Ukrainian western oblast of) Zakarpattia are restored the rights they enjoyed before 2015," he added.

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The NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting for foreign ministers took place in Brussels on April 3-4. It was the first such meeting since 2017. Hungary has been blocking the holding of ministerial-level meetings since then, saying it objects to certain Ukrainian legislation on languages.

Kuleba said that he had "frank conversation" at the meeting and expects the Vilnius 2023 NATO summit will be a "chance to correct the mistakes of Bucharest 2008."

It was at that summit that Ukraine and Georgia hoped to get Membership Action Plans that would lay the first stones in their paths to becoming full members of the alliance.

However, at the April 2-4, 2008 meeting in the Romanian capital NATO failed to give Ukraine and Georgia clear signals that they would be able to join the alliance.

Just four months later, Russia attacked Georgia and started to occupy about 20% of its territory.

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