“If the Ukrainian Government decides to expel the Hungarian Consul in Berehove (Beregszász), Hungary will immediately expel a Ukrainian consul working in Hungary”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced with relation to his bilateral meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin on Wednesday in New York on the sidelines of the high-level meeting of the 73rg United Nations General Assembly.

Everything that happened at the Hungarian representation in Berehove and at every Hungarian representation in Ukraine with relation to affording Hungarian citizenship is fully in harmony with both Hungarian and international law, he stressed. The fact that people who are eligible for Hungarian citizenship according to law are afforded citizenship is not in violation of any Hungarian or international laws. “The reference on the part of the Ukrainian party, which is projecting the image that affording Hungarian citizenship to people living in Transcarpathia contravenes some kind of international law, is false and deceptive”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

He also declared that Ukraine has been in a state of continuous legal infringement for the past one and a half years. They are violating fundamental international laws by systematically stripping the minorities living there of their previously acquired rights. The Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia is also one of the casualties of this policy: during the past eighteen months we have seen the beginning of a policy of the state-organised drumming up anti-Hungarian sentiment. A new dimension in bilateral relations was reached when the Ukrainian secret service performed a covert operation in one of Hungary’s diplomatic representations in Transcarpathia. This completely breaks with all of the most fundamental rules of cooperation between democratic countries, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out. The Government is sticking to its policy of blocking Ukraine’s European or Euro-Atlantic integration aspiration until they change their policy of inciting anti-Hungarian sentiment, he underlined. “We must make it clear that Ukraine cannot violate international law for any reason whatsoever”, he added.

The Minister said that in his opinion while Ukraine is led by the current President, the incitement of hatred against Hungarians being led and inspires by the Ukrainian state will not cease, because the President believes this is a way of acquiring some public support, because his current support is very low. Next year’s elections could bring a change in the situation, he added. Last week, a hidden camera video of Ukrainian citizens taking their oaths of Hungarian citizenship at the Hungarian Consulate in Berehove (Beregszász) was uploaded to YouTube. Later, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin threatened that Kiev would expel the Hungarian Consul.