Hungary and Ukraine – the Inevitability of the Status Quo

The International Centre for Policy Studies prepared research within the project “A bridge of understanding between Hungary and Ukraine” with the support of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Once an example of good friendship and partnership, Ukraine and Hungary’s current relations continue to go through a crisis marked by mutual mistrust and diplomatic hostilities. Neither country is ready to make any concessions, while both overestimate their capabilities and underestimate the risks and losses resulting from the conflict. For more than two years there their bilateral relations have been marked by sharp controversies, triggered mostly by the new Law on Education, which was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on September 5, 2017.

The Hungarian reaction, which initially concerned the protection of the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine to receive education in the Hungarian language, quickly spilt-over to the issues of Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, citizenship and political cooperation. The conflict has escalated and quickly got the taste of a scandal. Hungarian-Ukrainian relations have dropped to the lowest point in recent history. All of this is happening against the backdrop of Russian aggression and at a moment in time where Ukraine desperately needs friendly relations with its Western neighbours.

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