Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has threatened Ukraine that he will not support it on any issue at the international level if it does not restore the rights of ethnic Hungarians.
Such a request directly affects the process of “Ukrainization”, which began five years before the war with a law regulating the use of the mother tongue in schools. This strained relations between Kyiv and Budapest, and caused concern in other capitals such as Sofia.
Nearly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians live in Ukraine, although some of them fled to neighboring Hungary after the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. At the end of the last decade, they became a source of tension between the two countries and with the issuance of Hungarian passports.
“They want to turn (Hungarian schools) into Ukrainian schools and if that doesn’t work, they want to close them,” Orbán said in a speech quoted by Reuters. The agency notes that the Hungarian leader commented on the topic after the presentation of a vision for an enlarged European Union with the participation of Ukraine this month. EU countries must also decide in December whether to allow Ukraine to start accession talks.
For lasting peace in Ukraine, give Russia security guarantees, Hungary urged
Orban, who has been in power since 2010, maintains close ties with Russia and refrains from criticizing President Vladimir Putin. Hungary refuses to send weapons to Ukraine.
Orban told parliament that Brussels’ plan to cut Europe off Russian energy was against the interests of Europe and Hungary. Hungary is heavily exposed to Russian oil and gas supplies, but Orban said it had taken steps to diversify its supplies, citing recent talks with Qatar, Turkey and Azerbaijan on future gas supplies.
Orban: If someone blows up “Turkish Stream”, this is a reason for war for us