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An MEP for Hungary’s ruling Fidesz said the “political pressure” being exerted on Transcarpathian Hungarians and “attacks” directed against the community and their leaders by Ukraine are “unacceptable”.
Ukrainian security service commandos raided several Hungarian institutions in Transcarpathia as well as the home of the president of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association, László Brenzovics.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said on Facebook that his most recent talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba in Budapest had been characterized by correctness and a friendly atmosphere.
“Hungary won’t surrender the Transcarpathian Hungarian community to geopolitics,” said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, announcing that Hungary did not approve the NATO Ambassadors’ joint statement on Ukraine.
Talks between the Hungarian Ambassador and the regionally responsible head of department at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry occurred on the initiative of Ambassador István Íjgyártó, and were aimed at improving bilateral relations
The foreign minister said Hungary expects Ukraine to demonstrate that it intends to resolve the current situation between the two countries rather than escalate it, not just in words but through actions as well
Levente Magyar said the summons was due to reports of a “death list” of Transcarpathian Hungarians in Ukraine as well as a call for the collective deportation of dual Ukrainian-Hungarian citizens on the Ukrainian Parliament’s website
Hungary-Ukraine relations have seen better days and Ukraine’s recent decision to expel a Hungarian consul is merely the latest in an unfortunate downward trend. There is, however, one fundamental point that is often overlooked and ignored in the media crossfire.
“We’d like it if the chasm being widened by Ukrainian politics between Uzhhorod (Ungvár) and Kiev disappeared because our goal has never been to pursue any kind of separatist aspirations, as has been unjustly alleged but rather to help Ukraine’s westernmost county serve as a link and a bridge to the European Union,” István Grezsa said
Attempting to show that it is making good on previous commitments, Ukraine takes steps to talk with representatives of the Hungarian minority community to find a resolution to the dispute over a discriminatory education law
Ukraine did the right thing when it recently withdrew a bill that would strip dual citizens of their Ukrainian citizenship. However, as Foreign Minister Szijjártó said last week, this is only “the first step” if the country is serious about its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
The arson attack was condemned by the government and several political parties, including Fidesz, LMP, MSZP, Párbeszéd and Jobbik, as well as by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Hennadiy Moskal, governor of Transcarpathia
The foreign minister said that Ukraine’s ambassador to Budapest will be summoned to the Ministry, and the Hungarian consul general in Ungvár as well as the Hungarian ambassador to Kiev will be recalled immediately
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that Hungary was concerned about Ukraine’s new education law, which curbs the rights of ethnic minorities to education in their mother tongue
The new Ukrainian law will mean secondary school and higher education courses will only be available in Ukrainian, while education in minority languages is restricted to kindergartens and primary schools