In a bold statement reflecting the geopolitical shifts triggered by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Hungary’s far-right Our Homeland party has indicated its intent to lay claim to a western Ukrainian region populated by ethnic Hungarians, should Ukraine lose its statehood due to Russia’s invasion. This declaration by Our Homeland leader Laszlo Toroczkai was made during a conference attended by far-right leaders from various European countries, including Germany’s AfD and the Dutch Forum for Democracy, according to Reuters.
Toroczkai’s stance, articulated in a video on the party’s website, calls for an immediate ceasefire and peace resolution through talks, emphasizing the need for autonomy for ethnic Hungarians in the Transcarpathia region of western Ukraine. This position aligns with the growing concerns over Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity amid the escalating conflict.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry and the Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest have not yet responded to queries about Toroczkai’s remarks. However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in a public radio interview, has previously affirmed support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as summarized by government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs.
Amidst these developments, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is scheduled to meet with Ukrainian counterparts Dmytro Kuleba and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in western Ukraine. This meeting aims to lay the groundwork for a potential leader-level dialogue between Hungary and Ukraine.
Tensions have been evident between Budapest and Kyiv, particularly over the rights of the approximately 150,000 ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine to use their native language. Last month, Hungary stood as the sole European Union member opposing the start of EU accession talks with Ukraine, a decision bypassed by EU leaders in a strategic move.
This complex scenario unfolds as Hungary, also a NATO member, navigates its diplomatic stance amidst the ongoing war. The EU’s effort to channel financial aid to Ukraine, facing opposition from Orban, remains a critical topic expected to be revisited at an upcoming emergency summit.