Gulyas: Hungary supports ensuring rights of Ukraine Hungarians

The Hungarian government supports ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia, including "promotion of their fundamental rights and restoring their rights to use the (Hungarian) language," Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office, said at a ceremony opening the new academic year at the Mathias Corvinus Collegium's new building at Berehove (Beregszasz) on Sunday.

In his address, Gulyas thanked Viktor Mikita, the governor of Transcarpathia, for honouring the event and “demonstrating through his presence the importance of cooperation between Hungarians and Ukrainians in such hard times”.

The Hungarian government condemns “Russia’s aggression, launching the war and violating (Ukraine’s) territorial integrity”, Gulyas said.

According to Gulyas, Hungary has provided aid worth a total 35 billion forints (EUR 90m) to Ukraine since the outbreak of the war, while Hungarian charity organisations have sent thousands of tonnes of food and other supplies worth some 10 billion forints. Tens of thousands of refugees have been accommodated in Hungary, and over one million were allowed transit to other countries, he added.

Hungary strives for good neighbourly relations and “wants to be a friend to Ukraine”, Gulyas said, but added that those efforts were impeded by “the one-sidedness of gestures, deliberate misunderstanding and measures curbing the rights of the Hungarian minority”.

Ukraine “rightfully complains about the violation of its sovereignty” but it “overlooks fundamental rights due to its ethnic minorities as well as international norms,” he said.

“Hungarians fighting and sacrificing their lives for Ukraine deserve to be considered as Ukraine’s own citizens and be returned what (Ukraine) stripped them of, the free use of their mother tongue … especially in education,” he insisted.

The new MCC building has been erected “in preparation for a better future after the war”, Gulyas said. “Let us pray and work for the war to end as soon as possible and peace to come,” he added.

Governor Mikita thanked Hungary for the humanitarian aid provided. The peoples of Transcarpathia “have lived peacefully together for a thousand years and I will do everything that it does not change in future,” he added.

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