Budapest (MTI) – Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen on Friday encouraged ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine to take Hungarian citizenship, saying they are all entitled to it.

Semjen told the press after meeting 55 ethnic Hungarian children from western Ukraine in parliament that having a Hungarian passport would guarantee them security. It is also an opportunity to become a European citizen with full rights, he added.

The number of citizenship applications submitted so far is over 750,000 and expected to reach 800,000 by the end of the year, Semjen said. More than 700,000 people have already taken the citizenship oath, he added.

In a message to ethnic Hungarians living in Slovakia and Ukraine, he said that even though some countries currently do not recognise dual citizenship, this practice in unsustainable in the long run. Just like it has already happened in the Czech Republic, recognising dual citizenship is only a matter of time in Slovakia, he added.

Ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine are in a war situation through no fault of their own, bearing no responsibility for the events in the Crimea and Donetsk, he said. They are always welcome in Hungary and will be safe here, he added.

Hungary will grant citizenship to every Hungarian who applies for it but will not give out the names to anybody, as this information is “practically state secret”, he said.

Photo: MTI


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