HHRF Responds to New York Times Article on Hungarians in Ukraine

HHRF president Zsolt Szekeres submitted the following, as of yet unpublished letter to the editor of the New York Times in response to the June 16, 2022 article entitled “In Ukraine, a Minority Group Feels Ambivalence About the War”:
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/16/world/europe/ethnic-hungarians-ukraine-war.html


June 18, 2022

Dear Editor,


In the June 16th article entitled “In Ukraine, a Minority Group Feels Ambivalence About the War,” author Erika Solomon views the current plight of the Hungarian minority through an anti-Orban lens. But antipathy for the Orban regime does not justify dismissing their minority rights, which are guaranteed by the Ukrainian constitution.

Ukraine is a multi-ethnic society that includes minorities from the surrounding EU member states (Poles, Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians, Bulgarians and Greeks).  It is in Ukraine’s interest to uphold their minority rights, if only to further Ukraine’s own quest for EU membership.

In 1991, Hungary and Ukraine signed a basic treaty in which Hungary renounced territorial claims in exchange for Ukraine’s guaranteeing Hungarian-language education from elementary school through the university level. These rights are also recognized by European instruments.

Regarding the role of Hungary in helping develop the Transcarpathian region: these projects, including roads and hospitals, benefit all Ukrainian citizens – not just ethnic Hungarians. Similar constructive policies on the part of other EU countries, not to mention Russia, might well have helped to avoid this war.

Zsolt Szekeres
Hungarian Human Rights Foundation

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