In a resolution on Monday, the Hungarian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee condemned the removal of the mythical Turul bird statue in Mukachevo (Munkács), Ukraine, and called on the Ukrainian government to distance itself from the action. In its resolution, the body said it was shocked to learn of the “scandalous circumstances” of the removal of the Turul statue in the Transcarpathian city.
“The Committee strongly condemns this senseless and barbaric action aimed at intimidating the Hungarian people of Transcarpathia, destroying the universal cultural heritage and poisoning Hungarian-Ukrainian relations,” the document issued by the Committee said.
It added that
Ukraine has been “continuously and systematically dismantling” the cultural, educational and linguistic rights of the Transcarpathian Hungarians for five years, since the adoption of the Education Law in autumn 2017.
In the meantime, it has been ignoring Ukraine’s voluntary obligations under international conventions and bilateral agreements to protect the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of national minorities.
In the resolution, the body therefore reiterated its concern about the systematic harassment of legitimate organizations of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia and the official actions aimed at intimidating their democratically elected leaders.
The resolution also stressed that the Foreign Affairs Committee is committed to strengthening cooperation, dialogue and mutual trust between Hungary and Ukraine, in which the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia has a particularly important role to play.
The Committee reiterated its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and said that it sympathizes with the suffering caused by Russia’s military aggression, but stressed that the war must not be used as a pretext to diminish the rights of the Hungarians of Transcarpathia.
It is incompatible with the rule of law and democratic requirements of the EU candidate countries, which Ukraine committed itself to respect at the start of the accession process, the resolution read.
The Executive Committee of the Municipality of Munkács decided on 13 October to remove from the Mukachevo Castle the statue of the Turul bird which was an icon of city. The Hungarian mythical symbol had been restored to its original form in 2008. The governor of Transcarpathia, Viktor Mikita, called the incident a provocation that had to be investigated by the intelligence services. Now, the Turul bird was replaced by the Ukrainian state’s small emblem, the so-called ‘tryzub’.
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