BUDAPEST, January 20. /TASS/. Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has called on the European Union to take measures to stop violations of the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine’s Zakarpattia region.
"I don’t understand why the European Union keeps silent on this matter," he said on Friday after a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Katalin Novak when asked by journalists about harassment of Hungarians in the Zakarpattia region.
It was reported in recent days that Hungarian flag and signs in the Hungarian language have been removed from public buildings in Zakarpattia’s Mukachevo, populated by ethnic Hungarians. Apart from that, the labor contract has been terminated with the director of the city’s Hungarian school.
Commenting on this situation, the Hungarian president recalled that some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians are living in Ukraine’s Zakarppattia region and their rights are infringed upon by the local authorities. Novak described this situation as inadmissible and gave to understand that Hungary will not turn a blind eye on it, even amid the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine. She slammed Ukraine’s law on national minorities as unacceptable and said she had raised this issue during her recent visit to Kiev and in a letter to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
Novak thanked Milanovic for support and noted that ethnic Hungarians don’t have such problems in Croatia.
Tamas Menzer, State Secretary for Bilateral Relations at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said earlier that Hungary was expecting Ukraine to take steps to stop harassment of ethnic Hungarian in the Zakarpattia region. According to the diplomat, the Hungarian side called on Mukachevo authorities to cancel these decisions and restore the status quo. He also said that Hungary expected Ukraine’s leaders to make efforts to stop repressions against Hungarians.