The Embassy of Hungary in Ukraine “was surprised and shocked” to read the claims of Iryna Vereshchuk, who accused the Hungarian government of following a pro-Russian policy against Ukraine. The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister went as far as to propose a potential partnership with Russia in order for Hungary to take Transcarpathia, a region in western Ukraine with a significant Hungarian minority. The Hungarian Embassy in Kyiv rejected her claims and listed a series of policies the government has undertaken to aid Ukraine in the war.
Hungary says “no” to “virtually everything,” involving potential aid to Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in her Facebook post on Tuesday, arguing that the “strategic calm” approach which Budapest is following is not far from an openly pro-Russian position.
Deputy PM Vereshchuk went as far as to suggest that there may be an agreement between the Hungarian and Russian governments to give Transcarpathia to Hungary. “Why?” she asked, “Is it because they want Russian gas with a discount? Or maybe it is because they silently dream of our Transcarpathia?”
Not only Vereshchuk, but Polish MEP Radosław Sikorski has also made accusations of Hungary supporting the Russian government. Governing Fidesz representative Zsolt Németh responded to their accusations, now being joined by the Hungarian Embassy.
Hungarian Embassy Rejects Accusation of Wanting Transcarpathia
On Wednesday the Hungarian Embassy in Kyiv addressed the Deputy Prime Minister’s accusations towards the Hungarian government, noting that her statement was widely quoted and commented on throughout Ukrainian media. The embassy brought up that Vereshchuk “is doing superhuman work, with huge responsibility in a tragic situation in which Ukraine is leading a heroic fight against aggression.” The embassy added that a “sharpened emotional mood” can be understood,
[…] But it can’t be the basis for senseless accusations and baseless slander.”
The Hungarian Embassy described Vereshchuk’s conclusions on Hungary’s approach as “outright offensive.” Regarding her statement about a secret deal on giving Transcarpathia to Hungary, the embassy wrote,
It is especially sad that among these speculations – not for the first time – the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine and the Hungarians living there also appear. And we politely, but most strongly, reject these claims.”
Embassy Lists Gov’t Actions Supporting Ukraine
The Hungarian Embassy went on to list the actions of the Hungarian government which it argues prove that Hungary has been taking action to help Ukraine succeed in the war. The points the embassy makes are as follows:
- Since the beginning of the war, Hungary has accepted, cared for and provided assistance to 641,775 refugees from Ukraine, and this number is growing daily
- thanks to the voluntary donations of Hungarian citizens and resources provided by the government, state bodies and humanitarian organizations have provided Ukraine with aid and donations of 5,000 tons, worth tens of millions of euros, and will ensure further donations in the future
- Hungary still supports all sanctions imposed by the international community against Russia
- Hungary supports granting Ukraine EU candidacy status
- Hungary supplies energy to Ukraine
Concluding its post, the Embassy of Hungary emphasized that “the current tragic situation requires cooperation and the unbreakable support of each other.”
It is clear that Hungary’s “strategic calm” approach has made it stand out among EU allies. However, Hungary has committed to its NATO and EU obligations. It has supported all sanctions except those aimed toward the energy sector, it has allowed indirect military aid, opening its borders to weapon shipments to cross from Hungarian territory to neighboring NATO countries, and it has allowed the deployment of NATO troops into counties west of the Danube.
In the featured photo Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. Photo via Facebook