Hungary once again blocks Ukraine-NATO summit

  • Daniela Tkadlečková
  • 25.1.2018 11:36

On 19 January Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó confirmed Hungary's decision not to support a NATO-Ukraine defence ministers' summit. The meeting, already vetoed by Hungary last October, remains among the first steps Ukraine must take on its journey to integrate into Western military structures.

Although Hungary enjoys warmer relations with Russia than other EU member states, so far it has always followed NATO's official stance and supported Ukraine's possible NATO integration even to the detriment of Russia. However, Hungary has once again pointed to the Ukrainian education law, which is believed to violate minority rights, as the reason for rejecting the summit, as well as its change in approach towards Ukraine. Ukraine, on the other hand, sees the law as a way of strengthening its national identity affected by Russia's interference into Ukraine's territorial integrity by annexing Crimea in 2014. Ukraine is expecting to meet the NATO membership criteria by 2020 but the process leading to its potential acceptance is a great challenge both politically and strategically and neither Ukraine nor the Alliance members seem ready for such development at this time. Since the violent conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues, advancing the country's bilateral ties seems more relevant at this point.

About author: Daniela Tkadlečková

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