World Bulletin/News Desk
Hungary is not demanding that the ethnic Hungarian minority in western Ukraine be given territorial autonomy, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said on Wednesday.
He spoke two days after newly re-elected Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary would stand up for its rights within the European Union and wants autonomy for ethnic Hungarians living beyond its borders in central Europe, including Ukraine.
Orban said the issue was especially topical due to the situation in neighbouring Ukraine, where around 200,000 ethnic Hungarians live who are entitled to Hungarian citizenship and also the right to self-administration.
The comments prompted Kiev to summon the Hungarian ambassador for an explanation on Tuesday.
But Martonyi, speaking to reporters at the Globsec security conference in Bratislava, said Orban had used a word for "self-governance" rather than territorial autonomy.
"Autonomy can be diverse: as we already said, personal autonomy, cultural autonomy, territorial autonomy ... the word territorial in this speech was not used," Martonyi said.
"Why? Because possibilities of more self government or self management for different communities or different countries are different. I would underline again: There was no reference whatsoever to any kind of territorial autonomy of the Hungarian community living in Ukraine."
He added that relations between the Hungarian community in Ukraine with the interim, pro-European authorities in Kiev were "excellent".Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Mayıs 2014, 23:28