Far-Right Hungarian Party Eyes Territorial Claim in Western Ukraine if Statehood Lost in Conflict

The Our Homeland party in Hungary, under the leadership of Laszlo Toroczkai, has articulated a bold territorial claim over a western region of Ukraine. This particular area is home to approximately 150,000 ethnic Hungarians. The party envisions staking this claim if Ukraine were to lose its statehood due to the ongoing invasion by Russia. Toroczkai made this significant announcement during a conference held on a Saturday, where the party played host to leaders from various far-right political factions, including Germany’s AfD and the Dutch Forum for Democracy. It’s noteworthy that the Our Homeland party presently holds six seats in the Hungarian parliament.

In a video posted on the party’s official website, Toroczkai outlined a clear stance regarding the conflict in Ukraine. He advocated for an immediate ceasefire, emphasizing the urgent need for peace, and proposed a resolution through diplomatic negotiations. One notable aspect of his message was the call for autonomy for the ethnic Hungarian population residing in the western regions of Ukraine. This move aligns with the party’s overarching goal of safeguarding the rights and interests of the Hungarian community in the specified Ukrainian territory.

The conference itself brought together leaders from various far-right movements, indicating a collaborative effort or alignment of ideologies among these political entities. Toroczkai’s remarks not only shed light on the party’s geopolitical aspirations but also underscored its commitment to addressing the ongoing crisis in Ukraine through diplomatic means, despite the provocative territorial claim. The situation remains dynamic, and the statements made by the Our Homeland party add another layer of complexity to the broader geopolitical landscape in Eastern Europe.

Expressing a territorial assertion, particularly over Transcarpathia

Questions seeking comments on Toroczkai’s statements were sent via email to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and the Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest. However, there has been no immediate response from either entity at the time of this report.

In a public radio interview in December, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reportedly voiced his backing for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as outlined in a summary of his statements provided by government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs.

Scheduled for Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is set to engage with his Ukrainian counterparts, Dmytro Kuleba and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, in western Ukraine. The purpose of this meeting is to lay the groundwork for a potential summit between the leaders of the two countries.

Tensions have arisen between Budapest and Kyiv over alleged restrictions on the rights of approximately 150,000 ethnic Hungarians to use their native language.

In the previous month, all European Union member states, with the exception of Hungary—also a NATO member—unanimously decided to initiate EU accession talks with Ukraine. Notably, the EU leaders managed to navigate around Prime Minister Orban’s opposition by having him temporarily leave the room during the decision-making process.

Despite this accomplishment, challenges persist as Orban remains steadfast in resisting the proposed overhaul of the EU budget, aimed at directing 50 billion euros to Kyiv. This contentious issue is anticipated to be revisited during an emergency summit scheduled for the upcoming Thursday.

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