After Ukrainian nationalist organization Myrotvorets added Fidesz MEP Andrea Bocskor to its list of “enemies of Ukraine” for allegedly “attacking Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” many in the European Parliament raised their voices against the incident.
The EPP Group condemned recent threats against Andrea Bocskor, Fidesz’s Hungarian- Ukranian MEP, the group said on its website on Tuesday.
On behalf of the parliamentary group, MEPs Sandra Kalniete and Michael Gahler expressed their solidarity with their colleague. “Candid dialogue or criticism is the bedrock of democracy and freedom. But it should not be misinterpreted and misused,” they emphasized.
The MEPs said they were aware of the tense relationship between Hungary and Ukraine and regret it. However, “only genuine dialogue and the will to understand the other’s position will lead to a sustainable solution,” they added.
The EPP Group was not the only one to condemn the threats against Bocskor.
“The hate-inciting content on the Ukrainian Mirotvorec website is completely unacceptable,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said during the debate on EU’s Eastern Partnership on Tuesday.
The European Parliamentary group of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz and KDNP (Christian Democrats) also wrote a letter to EP President David Sassoli over the incident.
Hungary-Ukraine relationship hits rock bottom
Diplomatic tensions between Hungary and Ukraine have rapidly grown in the past years, mainly due to Kyiv accepting laws on language use and education that discriminate against national minorities.
But bilateral relations have hit a new low recently, after Kyiv accused the Orbán government of directly interfering in Ukraine’s local elections held in October. As punishment, Ukraine denied entry to Hungary’s ministerial commissioner István Grezsa at the end of last month.
Not long after, on Nov. 30th, Ukraine’s secret service raided the headquarters of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association, the home of its president, the II Ferenc Rákóczi Hungarian College, and the offices of the Hungarian charity in charge of developmental funds for the region. The raids came after a court ruling in connection with charges of separatism.
The association later said the procedure was based on fabricated political charges with the aim of hobbling the activities of Hungarian organizations and intimidating Hungarians of Transcarpathia and their leaders.
A few days ago, press reports also started circulating that Ukraine’s security service launched criminal proceedings against local councilors of the village of Szürte (Siurte) in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region, on suspicion of treason after they sang the Hungarian national anthem after a festive session.
Transcarpathian ethnic Hungarian community threatened
Meanwhile, some Ukrainian nationalist groups who have been trying to intimidate the ethnic Hungarian community in Transcarpathia are further deteriorating the situation.
Recently, news site karpatalja.ma reported on a threatening letter in which Hungarians of Transcarpathia were given a week to leave Ukraine, otherwise they would all be poisoned.
Also, a few days ago, unknown perpetrators wrote an anti-Hungarian threat on the wall of the town-hall in Tiszapéterfalva (Pijterfolvo) in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region. It says, “Transcarpathia is Ukraine, we will come for you.”
Featured photo by László Beliczay/MTI