On Tuesday Prime Minister Viktor Orbán asked Hungarians living in Ukraine to participate in the local elections being held this weekend, and to cast their votes for the Hungarian lists.

Following a meeting in Parliament with President of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) László Brenzovics, the Prime Minister told journalists that it is important that Hungarians participation in the elections has appropriate weight, authority and quality. Mr. Orbán also urged Hungarians who have moved from Ukraine to live, study or work in Hungary – but who still have the right to vote in Ukraine – to go to the polls.

DownloadPhoto: Károly Árvai/Prime Minister's Office

The Prime Minister emphasised that Ukraine is undergoing a transformation, and said that “in a country in transition, all elections have great importance – at times even decisive importance”. Such will be  the local elections this weekend, in his opinion. Talking about support for Transcarpathia, he pointed out that this is easy for the Government of Hungary, as Hungarian institutions in Transcarpathia – educational institutions and the KMKSZ for example – have provided detailed plans to the Hungarian Cabinet on how to help Hungarian communities there.

“The situation is not easy in Hungary either: there are economic difficulties here as well, but these cannot be compared to the problems which must be faced on a daily basis by Hungarians and Ukrainians living in Transcarpathia”, Mr. Orbán explained.  He said that Transcarpathia is an important region of Europe, and stressed that friendship, co-existence and cooperation with Ukrainians is an important asset, which “we would also like to maintain in the future”. Therefore, he announced, one of the Hungarian government’s plans is to launch programmes aimed at developing the whole of Transcarpathia.

DownloadPhoto: Károly Árvai/Prime Minister's Office

After the meeting Mr. Brenzovics thanked the Hungarian government for the support it is providing to the Hungarians of Transcarpathia, who have to cope with difficult circumstances. He said that thanks to the Cabinet’s decision, Transcarpathian teachers, healthcare workers and parents with children at Hungarian kindergartens have received significant support this year. He emphasised that this is especially important, as without these measures the economic crisis in Ukraine would make the situation of these institutions impossible, and this would have resulted in the brain drain from Transcarpathia greatly intensifying.

(Prime Minister's Office)