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SZIJJÁRTÓ: 'LONG WAY AHEAD'

Encouraging steps have been made to restore an atmosphere of trust between Hungary and Ukraine, though the road ahead "is long and much work will need to be done", the foreign minister said after talks in Uzhorod.
 

Hungary is ready for this, Péter Szijjártó told a joint press conference after talks in Uzhorod (Ungvár) with Ukrainian counterpart Dmitro Kuleba and Andrij Yermak, the head of the presidential office. Bilateral ties, he said, had deteriorated “because the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians have been curbed again and again since 2015”, He added that ties had been dominated by unresolved issues rather than good relations. He said the law adopted by the Ukrainian parliament last December “undoubtedly stopped this negative spiral” but the government expected the rights afforded to the Transcarpathian Hungarian community to be restored to what they were in 2015. “I want to emphasise … that Hungary wants no special treatment; we want nothing we didn’t have before…” Szijjártó said. Hungary, he added, has prepared an 11-point list of requests, including restoring the status of schools for ethnic minorities, the opportunity to sit school-leaving exams in Hungarian, as well as the unrestrained use of Hungarian in higher education, culture, public services and community life.