Ukraine’s ambassador in Budapest was summoned to the foreign ministry on Tuesday after Hungary’s ministerial commissioner István Grezsa had been denied entry to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said.
Szijjártó said on Facebook that he had informed the ambassador about Hungary’s objections and handed over a note of protest.
“It came like a bolt from the blue” that Grezsa, the ministerial commissioner in charge of cooperation between Hungary’s Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County and Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region, also in charge of coordinating a kindergarten development scheme for the Carpathian Basin, had been denied entry to Ukraine and was told that he was banned to enter the neighbouring country for three years, Szijjártó said.
The Hungarian foreign minister added that at talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba two and a half weeks ago, they agreed to leave behind tensions that had developed during Ukraine’s local elections and focus on “positive issues that could form the foundations for a joint success story.”
Banning Grezsa from Ukraine goes against developing friendship and seeking joint success, Szijjártó said.
He said this was regrettable considering that the Hungarian government was always working towards good neighbourly relations with Ukraine because good relations between the two countries is also best for Transcarpathian Hungarians.
In the featured photo illustration (from left to right): Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba and Hungarian FM Péter Szijjártó. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI