Hungary’s MPs call on Russia to pool efforts to defend ethnic minorities in Ukraine

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MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Hungary’s National Assembly has called on the Russian State Duma lower parliament house to pool efforts to defend the rights of national minorities in Ukraine, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Tuesday.

“Hungary’s parliament has turned to us, the State Duma, asking to pool efforts to defend the rights of minorities, first of all the right to study their native language. After the [Verkhovna] Rada [Ukraine’s parliament — TASS] adopted the language law, nationalities living in Ukraine are deprived of this right,” he said, adding that a lot of ethnic Hungarians and Poles live in that country.

The Russian lawmaker also called on the European Parliament, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to pay attention to the situation with the national minorities’ rights in Ukraine. “If Ukraine wants to be a European country, first of all it must get rid of such relics as nationalism in politics,” Volodin noted. “Nationalists should not go unpunished for their behavior.”

According to the State Duma speaker, Poland and Romania support more invigorated efforts in defense of national minorities’ rights in Ukraine.

Touching on possible practical steps, Volodin vowed that the Russian side would promote its stance within inter-parliamentary structures, such as PACE and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

He stressed that Ukraine’s nationalism was “the philosophy of the past.” “Obviously, they [nationalists] are a thorn in the neck for the president, making their, so to say, radical contribution to Ukraine’s policy and creating tensions not only with Russia but with other countries as well,” he claimed.

He warned the Ukrainian authorities about responsibility for illegal actions. “They will have to be accountable for their actions, for violating the rights and freedoms of citizens,” Volodin stressed.


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