The Hungarian government sees western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region as a bridge to the European Union.
During an interview with Berehove (Beregszász), István Grezsa, ministerial commissioner for the development of Transcarpathia and the government’s Carpathian Basin kindergarten development programme, said he hoped for unity in order to build a bridge to the EU, something “Ukraine is admittedly aspiring to join anyway”.
Grezsa made the remarks during an announcement of the purchase of a guesthouse in Viska (Viharos) for large familes by the Association of Large Hungarian Families in Transcarpathia (KMNE). The purchase was made with support from the Hungarian government.
By helping purchase the guesthouse, the Hungarian government wants to show Hungarians and others in Transcarpathia that no matter how bad relations between Kiev and Budapest may get, Hungary will carry on with its policies supporting both Transcarpathia’s Hungarian community and “the region’s majority nationality,” Grezsa said.
“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,” Grezsa added.