Hungary is ready to take in ethnic Hungarians from western Ukraine (Kárpátalja / Закарпатська область) if they are mistreated, government office chief János Lázár said. The Hungarian government’s most important goal is to ensure that Transcarpathian Hungarians can make a living in their homeland, Lázár said in an interview to daily Napi Gazdaság. He said that Hungary’s government would provide new benefits for the ethnic Hungarian community in Ukraine, such as supplementary pay for teachers, funding for children’s meals and financial aid to local governments that need it.
János Lázár reiterated the government’s concern over recent armed clashes in western Ukraine’s Munkács (Mukacheve / Мукачеве). He said Hungary expects the Ukraine government to guarantee the safety of every Hungarian in Transcarpathia. State Secretary Miklós Soltész said earlier that the Hungarian government would offer 660 Ukrainian children whose fathers are fighting in Ukraine an opportunity to stay at a Lake Velence resort in central Hungary. Another 3,000 ethnic Hungarian children living in Ukraine would also be invited to spend their vacation in Hungary, he added.
Meanwhile the State Secretary for National Policy at the Prime Minister’s Office said it was working towards the restoration of relations between the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) and the Hungarian Democratic Federation in Ukraine (UMDSZ) which deteriorated some twenty years ago. State secretary Árpád János Potápi attended the graduation ceremony of the Ungvár (Uzhhorod / Ужгород) National University on Tuesday, after which he met with the Presidents of KMKSZ and UMDSZ with whom they are making joint efforts to restore cooperation between the two organisations for the municipal elections in Ukraine in the autumn, and with a view to resuming a dialogue between them and resolving the tensions.
According to the latest census, around 150000 Hungarians live in Transcarpathia, a region which had belonged to Hungary for centuries before the First World War, to Czechoslovakia in the interwar period and to the Soviet Union following the Second World War, and which has become part of the independent Ukraine in 1991. In recent years, tens of thousands of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine have been naturalised.
via hungarymatters.hu, MTI and kormany.hu photo: public domain