Leaders of Hungarian Communities in Transcarpathia Ask Hungarian PM to Support Negotiations on Ukraine's Accession to EU

Monday, 11 December 2023

Leaders of Hungarian communities of Transcarpathia have appealed to European Council President Charles Michel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to support the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

"We, the representatives of the Hungarian national community of Transcarpathia, are addressing you with great hope and request to support the decision to open negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union, scheduled for 14-15 December 2023," the text of the appeal available to European Pravda reads.

Hungarian community leaders emphasise that Ukraine has made significant progress in implementing the European Commission's recommendations to ensure the rights of national minorities over the past year.

"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 to be supported in its efforts in this direction," the Hungarian community leaders emphasised.

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 (DUHU), Yosyp Rezesh, head of the Foundation for Ukrainian-Hungarian Regional Youth Development, and Judita Petei, a member of the Zakarpattia Oblast Council.

These are the leaders of all the key associations of Hungarians, except for the Society of Hungarian Culture of Transcarpathia (SHCT). It should be noted that Laszlo Brenzovych, the leader of the SHCT, has been in Hungary for several years, and a criminal case has been opened against him in Ukraine. Under the current leadership, SHCT is considered to be an Orbán-controlled entity. 

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó 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.

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

Among other things, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian Prime Minister, at the inauguration of the Argentinian president on Sunday. And last week, Andrii Yermak, Head of the President's Office, spoke to Szijjártó by phone.

However, after these talks, Orbán called the Spanish presidency of the EU Council and persuaded them not to raise the issue of opening negotiations with Ukraine at the summit.

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