March 30, 2023 13:19 GMT
US State Dep't Confirms Blinken To Attend NATO-Ukraine Commission Meeting
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The US State Department has confirmed that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will travel to Brussels next week for the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting, taking place on the sidelines of the foreign ministers' meeting running 4-5 April. This will be the first ministerial-level NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting since 2017, and comes despite the objections of Hungary.
- The Hungarian gov't has blocked any ministerial-level talks since the passage of a Ukrainian language law by Kyiv in 2017 that the gov't of PM Viktor Orban calls 'discriminatory'. Budapest argues that the law impedes the pre-war 150k-strong ethnic Hungarian Transcarpathian minority from speaking their mother tongue.
- Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto did not reveal why the gov't had dropped its objections to the Commission meeting, but Sec-Gen Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the concerns of Hungary and the Hungarian minority would be discussed at the meeting.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been invited to attend the NATO leaders' summit taking place in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in July.
- NATO describes the Commission as, "the decision-making body responsible for developing the NATO-Ukraine relationship and for directing cooperative activities. It also provides a forum for consultation between the Allies and Ukraine on security issues of common concern."