WASHINGTON, July 5 - The NATO alliance has no plans to abandon its strong support for Ukraine despite concerns from the Hungarian government, which became public this week, the Voice of America (VOA) reported Thursday.
The summit is currently slated for July 11-12 in Brussels.
This comes after Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday issued a missive to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stating that Prime Minister Viktor "Orban is planning to vote against any document that will be proposed for adoption by the members of the Alliance after the meeting with the Ukrainian and Georgian leaders."
The letter was sent just days after a Ukrainian-Hungarian ministerial where officials from both countries had largely resolved a dispute over a Ukrainian law on education that stood in violation of the Venice Commission, a legal advisory body to the Council of Europe, according to Ukrayinska Pravda.
NATO officials on Tuesday confirmed possession of the original letter to the alliance, but directed queries about its contents to Budapest.
Although it was not clear whether the Hungarian government's letter sought to block Ukrainian participation in the summit, the NATO official wrote: "Ukraine will take part in next week's NATO summit. The summit formats will be announced shortly. We expect that allied leaders will recognize the Ukraine is making and strongly commit to continue to provide political and practical support."
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine's deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, told VOA that she remains optimistic that NATO will seek continued cooperation with Ukraine.
"We meet with the alliance to discuss common challenges, to share the achievements in reform of our security and defense sector, to outline directions for further enhanced cooperation," she told VOA. "We also hope that Ukraine’s constructive appeal to Hungary to sort out the national minorities' education language issue in Ukraine [can be addressed] on a bilateral level, as opposed to dealing with it in multilateral formats.”
NATO formally invited Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the upcoming summit last month in a historic move that circumvented Hungarian efforts to block meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, allowing NATO allies to hold talks with Poroshenko outside the format of the commission. (voa/ez)