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Zelensky meets Hungarian community leaders

August 8th, 2023

Commentators express cautious optimism in their evaluations of President Zelensky’s visit to Berehove in the Transcarpathian region, which was home to an estimated 100 thousand ethnic Hungarians before the war.

In Népszava, Mária Gál welcomes the President’s promise to amend what she calls ‘anti-minority’ laws passed by the Ukrainian Parliament over the past five years although she fears that his words were merely ‘empty promises’. The left-wing columnist criticizes the Hungarian government for opposing Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the European Union, arguing that by doing so, Hungary’s leaders are ‘mining the only path’ to uniting Hungarians on both sides of the border and protecting the interests of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine.

On Mandiner, Milán Constantinovits writes that Mr Zelensky’s visit ‘must be followed by deeds’. No matter how the war ends, he writes, Ukraine’s future within Europe is inconceivable without respect for ethnic minorities. The value of the President’s words in Berehove, he concludes, depends on whether Ukraine will take a positive turn in its policies toward ethnic Hungarians.

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