The Croatian State Archives have also become involved in the diplomatic controversy that erupted over Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s radio statement, in which he said Hungary would not have a problem with the Russian oil embargo if it had not had its sea taken away.
As we reported yesterday, Hungary’s ambassador to Zagreb, Csaba Demcsák, was summoned to the Croatian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday to explain Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s comment in a recent interview, in which he said that Hungary would have a sea coast if it hadn’t been taken from the country. The Prime Minister said this in response to a question about the sixth EU sanction which includes an oil embargo. Orbán believes that countries that do not have a sea coast cannot fulfill the sanction’s request.
The Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted that such statements unnecessarily worsen the friendly relations between the two countries.
Now, the Croatian State Archives also reacted in a Facebook post. “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said last week that his country would not have a problem with the Russian oil embargo if it had not had its sea taken away. Mr. Orbán clearly lost his way in a ‘flash of history’ that is apparently not clear to him,” they wrote. They continued:
No one could take away the sea of his country, for it had none. Even at the time of that historic ‘flash,’ Rijeka did not belong to Hungary (of which Orbán is obviously unaware) but was under the control of the Rijeka province.”
As the issue of Rijeka was not settled after the Croatian-Hungarian reconciliation (see the so-called Rijeka annex), the Croatian parliament accepted this status (the so-called provisional status or ‘provizórium’) on July 20, 1870, on the condition that it was temporary, and this was confirmed by the Emperor on 28-29 July 1870. According to this decision, both the city and the district of Rijeka were under the leadership of the so-called ‘Governor of Rijeka and the Croatian-Hungarian Sea,’ appointed in each case by the King on the proposal of the President.” The archives also added that “Both the Croatian-Hungarian treaty and the famous Rijeka annex are kept in the Croatian State Archives.”
The historical facts were also checked in the Hrvatska encyclopedia by Telex.
According to paragraph 66 of the 1868 Croatian-Hungarian treaty, the question of Rijeka remained unresolved. While the Croatian Parliament accepted this, the Hungarian Parliament accepted it with only one exception, that Rijeka and its district should belong to Hungary. On November 8 of the same year, the king issued a transcript to both that Rijeka and its district should belong to Hungary, “part of the Hungarian crown” (separatum sacrae rgni coronae adnexum corpus), adding that its status should be agreed upon by the Hungarian and Croatian parliaments and the leaders of Rijeka.
The text thus changed was inserted into the Hungarian document, and the Croatian text was glued to a “note” (the so-called “Rijeka annex”) in the Croatian office of the Viennese court, on which the new text was written.
The Croatian war parliament accepted the King’s change, and the King sanctioned the Hungarian text of the treaty. The unsuccessful Croatian-Hungarian negotiations in 1870 resulted in a so-called “provizórium,” according to which Rijeka and its district would be governed by a joint administration or Hungarian leadership until the situation was resolved. (But the territory did not legally belong to Hungary). This situation remained until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Featured image via Zoltán Fischer/MTI/Prime Minister’s Press Office