Hungary explains why Ukraine cannot be a NATO member

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó.
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

There are at least two major reasons why Ukraine cannot currently be considered for NATO membership, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a Brussels meeting of the NATO-Ukraine committee.

“Today, the allies have also made it clear that under the present circumstances, Ukraine’s membership in NATO is out of the question,” Szijjártó said.

“On the one hand, a country at war cannot be admitted under the basic treaty, as this would jeopardize the alliance, and in some cases even risk a third world war. On the other hand, it must also be seen that NATO is a community of values, in which there is no place for a state that constantly suppresses the rights of national minorities,” Hungary’s FM said.

The Hungarian foreign minister is referring to Ukraine’s restrictions on minority languages, with the Hungarian minority a particular point of interest for the Hungarian government. This group has long been targeted with a variety of repressive laws. In addition, there are concerns that this population, which numbers approximately 150,000, has been targeted heavily for conscription at the front due to anti-Hungarian sentiment in Ukraine, which has even elicited calls that ethnic cleansing is taking place.

Szijjártó said that Ukraine’s handling of national minorities remains dubious despite the latest promises from Kyiv.

“We understand, we hear of course that the Ukrainians are vowing that a bill has already been proposed, that now suddenly there is a meeting of representatives of national communities, which has not taken place for years. Now, they are trying very hard, but the fact is that Ukraine has been full of such statements for the past eight years,” he stated.

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“I’ve heard a lot of promises, a lot of times I’ve heard that almost everything has been solved, and then the opposite has happened. That is why we believe in legislation that has been passed and implemented,” he underlined.

“If there are any, we will of course evaluate them, but we cannot be misled, misled by statements,” Szijjártó added.

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