Hungarian communities in Ukraine called on Orban to support Kyiv’s EU accession talks

Leaders of the Hungarian communities of the Transcarpathia region in Ukraine have appealed to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to support the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

The text of the appeal, as well as a photocopy of the letter, was published by Ukrainian media.

“We, the representatives of the Hungarian national community of Transcarpathia, are addressing you with great hope and request that you support the decision to open negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union, scheduled for December 14–15, 2023,” the letter reads.

The leaders of the Hungarian communities emphasize that over the past year, Ukraine has demonstrated significant progress in implementing the recommendations of the European Commission to ensure the rights of national minorities.

“The new draft law adopted by the Ukrainian parliament significantly reflects the interests of national minorities and enjoys our full support,” they said.

“We strongly urge all EU leaders to continue to support Ukraine on its European integration path. This progress in ensuring democracy and minority rights is an integral part of the Copenhagen criteria for membership, and we believe that Ukraine deserves support for its efforts in this direction,” the Hungarian community leaders emphasized.

The appeal was signed by Zoltan Babyak, head of the Berehovo City Territorial Community; Carlo Rezesh, head of the Berehovo District Council; Laszlo Zubanych, head of the Democratic Union of Hungarians of Ukraine (UMDZ); Yosyp Rezesh, head of the Foundation for Ukrainian-Hungarian Regional Youth Development; and Judita Petei, a member of the Transcarpathian Regional Council.

These are the leaders of all key associations of Hungarians, except for the Society of Hungarian Culture of Transcarpathia. Its leader, Laszlo Brenzovych, has been in Hungary for several years, and a criminal case has been opened against him in Ukraine. This organization, under the current leadership, is considered to be controlled by Orban.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, that he had not changed his mind about the decisions on Ukraine at the EU summit.

Budapest has not changed its intentions to block all decisions on Ukraine to be considered at the EU leaders’ summit.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is against the opening of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU and does not even want this issue to be discussed at the summit; he also does not want to support a multi-year financial support instrument for Ukraine worth 50 billion euros and the EU’s military support program for Ukraine.

Contacts between Kyiv and Budapest have intensified ahead of the European Council meeting on December 14–15, where the decision to open accession talks with Ukraine and approve macro-financial assistance is to be considered.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Sunday at the inauguration of the Argentine president.

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