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US Ambassador criticises Hungary’s position on Ukraine

April 28th, 2023

A pro-government columnist sharply rejects the Ambassador’s remarks on the plight of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine.

Opening a panel discussion on Ukraine at the US Embassy in Budapest, Ambassador David Pressman made several strongly critical remarks about Hungary’s position on the war. He called it ‘cynical to call for a ceasefire when it is not your country that is almost 20 percent occupied by a foreign invading army.’ On Hungary’s complaints about Ukrainian laws curbing the right of ethnic Hungarians to use their mother tongue, Mr Pressman said ‘if this is a serious issue, we should address it seriously and make an effort to solve it’ and offered US assistance to find a solution. He added however that Hungary’s ‘effort to block high-level meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission is untenable, and … will no longer be accepted’.

On Mandiner, Gergely Szilvay dismisses the Ambassador’s words on the complaints of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine as ‘disgusting and cynical’. He recalls that his predecessor (under the Trump administration) shared Hungarian concerns about successive Ukrainian laws that confine the use of minority languages to private conversations and religious interactions. The Hungarian government, he writes, has shown restraint in protesting against such practices since the war broke out last year. He also mentions that Hungary has made joint demarches on the issue with Romania and Poland.


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