Budapest, September 8 (MTI) – Academics and cultural organisations in Hungary and neighbouring countries have expressed regret over the imminent closure of Hungary’s embassy in Tallinn.
The planned closure of Estonia’s embassy in Budapest as response move is also regrettable, the organisations said in a statement on Monday.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Tibor Navracsics announced on July 17 that Hungary would close its embassy in Tallinn in order to use tax-payers’ money in the most rational way. He said the embassy will be merged with the Hungarian embassy in Helsinki. Tallinn has a Hungarian institute where cultural diplomacy tasks can also be carried out, he added.
The civil groups represented in a statement by Budapest ELTE University’s Finno-Ugric faculty said they were shocked to learn about the Hungarian government’s decision and Estonia’s response. They said they regarded Hungary’s “turning away” from Estonia as insulting to the country, and the decision by Hungary “ill-considered”, according to the statement sent to MTI.
They noted the Hungarian government’s earlier pledge of enhancing Hungarian-Estonian linguistic and cultural cooperation, stating that that welcome development can only soothe but not remedy consequences of the embassy closures.
The signatories expressed hope that the decision is only temporary and the embassies can reopen within a reasonable time.
The statement was signed by the Finno-Ugric faculties at Budapest ELTE, Debrecen and Szeged universities, the Bratislava and Nitra universities, the Hungarian-Estonian Society, academics, literary circles, as well as Hungary’s former ambassador to Tallinn Bela Javorszky, among others.