Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin attended an extraordinary meeting of the steering board of the Hungarian Cultural Federation in Transcarpathia (KMKSZ), the political body of ethnic Hungarians in the Ukraine.
“First of all, we must reduce tensions in Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and the sides should improve dialogue regarding the issues of Hungarian education in Transcarpathia and dual citizenship.”
Dual citizenship was the spark that ignited the conflict in the first place, after the Ukrainian state news agency released a hidden camera recording at the Hungarian consulate in Beregszász (Beregovo, Ukraine) taken during the Hungarian citizenship oath of ethnic Hungarians.
Klimkin – who also explained the position of the Ukrainian government at the KMKSZ meeting – said at the press conference that while Ukrainian law does not recognize dual citizenship, neither does it sanction it, but regulations regarding public service employees do contain such requirements.
He also said after the meeting that he now has a better grasp of ethnic Hungarians’ grievances regarding the unsolved issue of teaching Ukrainian in Hungarian minority schools and he reiterated that while Ukraine had no intention of assimilating the Hungarian minority, the requirement to learn the state language was aimed at better integrating Hungarians into majority society.
Brenzovics said that while the two sides’ positions remained unchanged, it was a positive step that Klimko attended the meeting at KMKSZ’s invitation and took part in an open dialogue with ethnic Hungarians.
Title image: KMKSZ President László Brenzovics (L) and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at a joint press conference in Ungvár (Uzhhorod, Ukraine). (Photo: MTI/János Nemes)