Ukrainian authorities should consider their country’s ethnic Hungarian community as a partner, not an enemy, the Hungarian foreign ministry’s state secretary said on Friday, two days before Ukraine’s snap elections.
Levente Magyar held a press conference after a meeting of the ambassadors of EU and NATO countries convened by the foreign ministry to brief them about recent developments affecting the neighbouring country’s Hungarian minority.
Ukrainian authorities have taken “unprecedentedly hostile moves” in an attempt to discourage Transcarpathia Hungarians from going to the polls on July 21, he said.
On one instance “a combat squad raided the homes of Hungarian families while they were asleep,” Magyar said, adding that these families were known to support KMKSZ, the major political organisation representing Transcarpathia’s ethnic Hungarians.
Magyar said that in another move, the Ukrainian foreign ministry had pledged to ban Hungarian ministers from entering Transcarpathia. This is an indication that the ministry continues to pursue the policy of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, he said.
This kind of rhetoric and moves against minorities have long been rejected either within the EU or NATO, alliances Ukraine is striving to join, Magyar said.
Hungary does not want to interfere with the Ukrainian elections in any way, he said, adding however that the Hungarian community would hopefully be represented in the new parliament.