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Kyiv-Budapest Relations Becoming Strained Again

Ukraine-Hungary

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó has stated that he considers “unacceptable” the actions of Ukraine’s Security Service officers, who conducted searches in the houses of officials of a Zakarpattia region charitable foundation on suspicion of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, on Monday, 30 November.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, the Government turned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in protest against searches and summoned the Ambassador of Ukraine to Budapest.

“The minister finds it unacceptable for a country aiming for NATO membership to “continuously intimidate and keep an ethnic minority of a NATO member under pressure” Therefore, the Government demanded that Ukraine should stop insulting the Hungarian national community and intimidating its members constantly,” the statement reads.

As Szijjártó underscored, he plans to raise the issue of searches in the Zakarpattia region at a meeting of NATO ministers of foreign affairs. He also promised to “stand up for Hungarians living in the Zakarpattia region at all international forums.”

The Transcarpathian [Zakarpattia] Hungarian Cultural Association (Kárpátaljai Magyar Kulturális Szövetség) stated that the searches had been conducted in the houses of the Association’s chairman, chairman of the Party of Hungarians of Ukraine Vasyl Brenzovych, the Association’s headquarters in Uzhgorod city, and the offices of the Charitable Foundation “Transcarpathian Center for Economic Development Egan Ede” and the Charitable Foundation “For the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute.”

“In fact, this is a planned operation, carried out on fabricated political accusations which aim not only to stop the activities of Hungarian organisations but also to intimidate the Hungarians living in Zakarpattia region and their leaders,” reads the statement released by the press service of the Association.

Meanwhile, the press service of the Security Service of Ukraine informs that a pre-trial investigation is underway and the facts of assistance to a foreign state by certain Ukrainian public figures, who are suspected of supporting the government agencies of a neighboring country in conducting subversive activities to the detriment of Ukraine, including committing possible acts of treason, are being examined.

During the searches, law enforcement officers found a number of printed goods that promote the so-called “Greater Hungary” and the creation of ethnic autonomy in the Zakarpattia region. Computer equipment, means of communication, and other items, which investigators will examine as evidence of the illegal activities of defendants, were also seized.

Bohdan Marusyak

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