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Hungarian lawmaker says Ukraine should get Russia's 'approval' to join NATO

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 24, 2023 5:52 PM 2 min read
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Hungarian lawmaker Dóra Dúró said in an interview published by Russian newspaper Izvestiya on April 24 that Ukraine's NATO membership is "only if Russia approves this in the form of a specific agreement."

Parliamentary MP Dúró claimed that Russia's all-out war in Ukraine means "even NATO's own rules preclude Kyiv from joining the alliance" and not securing Russia's approval before allowing Ukraine to join the military alliance would risk escalation.

"As long as Ukraine's borders are contested and armed conflict continues, even NATO's own rules preclude Kyiv from joining the alliance. Without the risk of starting a war, the entry of Ukraine is possible only if Russia approves this in the form of a specific agreement," Dúró said.

Dúró went on to claim that Ukraine's potential NATO membership would also embolden the country to continue what she views as the persecution of the country's ethnic Hungarians and other minorities, including ethnic Romanians and Russians.

The language used by Dúró is reminiscent of Russian officials who have repeatedly attempted to justify their invasion of Ukraine by claiming that they want to "protect" Ukraine's ethnic Russians.

According to Dúró, Ukraine granting territorial autonomy to Transcarpathia, where most of the country's ethnic Hungarians live, as well as other regions with ethnic non-Ukraininian populations would be a "step in the right direction."

Dúró, the vice-speaker of the Hungarian parliament, is a member of the far-right political party Our Homeland Movement. The political party is known for its nationalistic, homophobic, and xenophobic policies which are to the detriment of Hungary's own minority groups.

Hungary's government, led by the ruling Fidesz Party, has previously accused the Ukrainian government of oppressing the rights of Hungarian minorities that live in the western regions of Ukraine near the border between the two countries.

Levente Magyar, the Hungarian deputy foreign minister, visited Ukraine's Transcarpathia region in early April. Magyar met with the head of the regional military administration Viktor Mykyta, who stated that Hungarian and Romanian communities in Zakarpattia have the full support of the local government.

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