According to Slovakia’s foreign minister, if Russia had won in Ukraine, Hungary would have already moved to claim territory in Slovakia, an unfounded accusation that has been met with outrage by the Hungarian government.
Slovak Foreign Minister Rastislav Kácer made the claim on Tuesday during the Markíza television’s political program “Na telo plus,” saying without evidence that “if Vladimir Putin had been successful in Ukraine, Hungary would have already had territorial claims against Slovakia.”
According to news portal Bumm.sk, Kácer was asked on the program whether Slovakia is threatened by Hungary and whether Hungary will, in a few years’ time, make territorial claims against Slovakia.
The Slovak politician responded by saying he believes that a territorial dispute is not a few years away but is a topical issue today, which is why he said it is important for Slovakia as a whole that Russian troops do not win in Ukraine.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has responded by summoning Slovakia’s ambassador in Budapest.
There is a sizeable ethnic Hungarian population in Slovakia. Following the First World War, Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory to Slovakia and other neighboring countries. To this day, the matter remains a point of contention, with Ukraine also making similar unfounded claims that Hungary wanted to annex territory following the war’s outbreak last year.
Kácer further said that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s scarf depicting Greater Hungary should be addressed because it represents the top of the pyramid of Hungary’s political goals. He added that he has an intelligence file on the incident in his safe. Orbán has contended that far too much is being read into the scarf and that Hungary has no ambitions to annex any territory from its neighbors.
Tamás Menczer, the state secretary for bilateral relations at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, reacted to Rastislav Kácer’s statement in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
“Europe is facing major crises, and in such times we need sensible politicians, and Slovakia’s current foreign minister is not one of them. Kácer is basically attacking Hungary because we are pro-peace and anti-sanctions. But we will not change this even if Minister Kácer does not like it,” Menczer wrote on his social media page.
Menczer also said that “today I called the Slovak Ambassador in Budapest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and told him that the statements of Rastislav Kácer are unacceptable, nonsensical lies.”
He added that “the Hungarian-Slovak partnership and the V4 alliance can survive figures like Rastislav Kácer.”