Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgeny Kornychuk, has caused a stir in the Hungarian press after implying the country is not a democratic state.
As the Ukrainian mouthpiece in Tel Aviv, Kornychuk has been attempting to move Israel from its stance of neutrality on the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, and called on the newly elected Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, to sanction the delivery of modern weaponry to assist Ukrainian troops on the front line.
“The new government of Israel must stand by Kyiv and send weapons,” Kornychuk declared during a recent interview on the matter, before indirectly attacking Hungarian democracy.
“Israel is the only country in the democratic world that does not help us militarily at all,” the diplomat claimed, suggesting that in his eyes Hungary, which has also remained neutral during the conflict, is not viewed as a democratic nation.
“This is what a foreign representative of Ukraine says, in whose country all opposition parties and media sites have been banned,” wrote journalist G. Péter Fehér for the Hungarian newspaper, Magyar Hírlap.
According to Ukraine, Hungary is not a democratic country because it does not allow itself to be drawn into a war that it has little to do with, and for that very reason it does not wish to exceed the limits of humanitarian aid. For this reason, our country does not supply weapons and ammunition to Kyiv, nor does it allow them to pass through its territory. However, it accepts refugees from Ukraine without limits.G. Péter Fehér
Fehér suggested the disparaging remarks made by the Ukrainian diplomat are counter-productive, arguing that “attacking (Hungary) in the back in the most blatant way” is not going to help “push those who are staying away from the war out of a position of neutrality.”
The Hungarian journalist also accused Kornychuk, in particular, of hypocrisy, claiming that while Ukraine demands arms from Israel, the country repeatedly votes against the Jewish state in the UN General Assembly.
Fehér further slammed the Ukrainian treatment of minority Hungarians residing in Transcarpathia, who he claimed are “being insulted continuously,” all at a time when Ukraine is calling on Hungary to reverse its neutral position.
“Just think of the Turul bird brutally pulled down from the tower of Münkacsi castle,” the journalists said, or “the Hungarian national flag which was recently removed from the facades of public institutions in Munkács and its surroundings, even though this is illegal even according to Ukrainian law.”
“Not to mention that the new Ukrainian minority law, if possible, will push Transcarpathian Hungarians into an even more disadvantaged position than the previous one,” he added.