There is no reason to believe that the Hungarian community in Ukraine is prone to separatism, says Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
"There is no reason to believe that Ukrainian Hungarians are prone to separatism, just as there is no reason to believe that the Ukrainian state wants to cause any harm to the Ukrainian Hungarians of Zakarpattia. We are one country, one society, and we will always be like that," said Kuleba at a press conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in Kyiv on Wednesday.
At the same time, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stressed that there is one significant obstacle to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations - these are emotions and suspicions.
"Today we talked separately with Peter about this, and we agreed that Ukrainian-Hungarian relations should be approached with a warm heart, but with a cold head. I categorically condemn any manifestation of disrespect for the Hungarian community of Ukraine and I consider unacceptable any anti-Ukrainian rhetoric that is voiced from individual circles in Hungary," Kuleba stressed.
The Ukrainian minister added that there is no reason to suspect the Ukrainian Hungarian community as a whole of any malicious intent.
"But there may be individual criminal cases, within which the activities of specific people will be investigated. We live in a country where the rule of law reigns, where there is an investigation, where there is a court, and everyone has the opportunity to defend himself in court. But I am deeply convinced, that the activities of one person should not hold the relations between the two good neighboring countries hostage. If he violated the law, he should be held accountable; if he proved in court that he did not violate the law, all charges are dropped," Kuleba explained.
In turn, the Hungarian Foreign Minister indicated that he hopes that Budapest is also interested in developing mutual trust.
"Mr. Minister talked about the rule of law and that everyone can exercise their right, and that he does not agree with any statements about the intentions of separatism in Hungary. I want to hope that all the participants, who are representatives of the Ukrainian state, will also act in this direction, because if the position on the Hungarians in Zakarpattia, which reflects this situation in this way, becomes the main one, it is difficult to hope for an improvement in mutual relations," Szijjarto added.