Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 15.02.2018
Peter Szijjártó, foreign minister of Hungary, cannot stop himself from telling Ukrainians what to do. He’s been hammering away at Ukraine for almost half a year now, giving orders about internal Ukrainian policy concerning language, education, and about Ukrainian citizens who Szijjártó considers to be Hungarian. Szijjártó is practically in hysterics that Ukraine now has a policy to teach in the state language, Ukrainian, to Ukrainian students in Ukrainian schools. The Hungarian foreign minister has carried out his threat to block every meeting between Ukraine and the European Union and between Ukraine and NATO.
Hungary stopped a NATO defence ministers meeting that was supposed to happen February 14 and 15. Szijjártó gave his orders to the Ukrainian government: Ukraine should "refrain from the beginning of the implementation of the Law [On Education] until every detail of the law is agreed upon by national minorities.” He said this at a press conference in Budapest. By ’national minorities’ Szijjártó is referring to Ukrainian citizens who speak Hungarian. Szijjártó is a blood nationalist, and he considers Hungarian speakers in Ukraine not to be fully Ukrainian citizens. Szijjártó and Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán apply ‘Greater Hungary’ thinking to Zakarpatia (Subcarpathia) in exactly the same way Putin applies ‘Greater Russia’ thinking to Crimea, Donbas, Trans-Dniester, Abkhazia, Tskhinvali Region, Koenigsberg, Karelia, etc..
Hungary does nothing to help Ukraine and to help Europe defend itself from Russian aggression. The Orbán government ruins the consensus for collective security and for forward defence of NATO. The Orbán government ruins the consensus for mutual association of the European Union.
With no mature, responsible Western democracy bringing wayward Hungary to heel, it looks like the hysterical and extreme measures the Hungarian government has taken against Ukraine will be rewarded. Szijjártó claimed that the Ukrainian government had agreed on a suspension of the law, “On Education.” Ukrainian pupils in Zakarpatia will have to suffer under the disadvantage of not being educated in the state language of Ukraine for a few more years.
Russia attacks Ukraine militarily from the south and east, invading Crimea and Donbas. Hungary attacks Ukraine diplomatically from the west, eroding the sovereignty of Ukraine in Zakarpatia. The other members of NATO don’t stand up for their guiding principles and the other members of the EU don’t stand up for theirs. Europeans in Crimea and Donbas are deprived of all their rights as Ukrainian citizens by the Russian invader-occupiers. Europeans in Zakarpatia are deprived of their right to an education in the state language, Ukrainian, by the Hungarian blood nationalists.