Hungary-Ukraine diplomatic row comes to a head with expulsions

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The Ukrainian foreign ministry announced on Thursday that it has declared the Hungarian consul in Beregovo, Ukraine – Beregszász in Hungarian – persona non grata, giving him 72 hours to leave the country. The consul has not been named.

In response, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szíjjártó said he summoned Ukraine’s ambassador in Hungary and told him that “a consul working at the Ukrainian embassy in Budapest would have to leave Hungary within 72 hours”.

Recently, Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform released a hidden camera recording showing ethnic Hungarians from Ukraine taking their Hungarian citizenship oath at the Hungarian consulate in Beregszász (Beregovo, Ukraine). While Hungary grants easy access to citizenship for all ethnic Hungarians living abroad, Ukraine frowns upon dual citizenship. Ukraine is host to some 140,000 ethnic Hungarians in the Transcarpathian region, that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that with the expulsion he considered the case closed, while his ministry reacted to the Hungarian counter-measure saying it was “inappropriate”.


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin

European Union and NATO member Hungary has in recent months been blocking Ukraine’s ambitions to join NATO over ethnic Hungarians’ minority rights.



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