Central Europe News

Ukraine’s Fight With Hungary Gets Real

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Ukraine vs. Hungary at 2017 IIHF World Championship Division I

The conflict between Ukraine and Hungary spilled out into the open this week as both nations expelled diplomats over the issue of Ukraine requiring education only in the Ukrainian language for post primary school children.

There is a large ethnic Hungarian population in Ukraine, totally approximately 150,000, and the Hungarian government has taken special offense over the issue, going so far as to issue Hungarian passports for ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine.

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“Ukraine’s Ambassador to Budapest was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Thursday and told that one of the consuls working at the Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest must leave Hungary within 72 hours”, Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, said in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The move came after Ukraine declared the Hungarian consul in Berehove, a city in the west near the border with Hungary, “persona non grata” and ordered the consul to leave Ukraine within 72 hours on Thursday morning, reported Al Jazeera.

Hungary has blocked Ukrainian progress in joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over the issue. Ukraine is fighting a pro-Russian separatist uprising in the Donbass region of East Ukraine since 2014. Over 10,000 people have died in the conflict.

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