Budapest Stands By Ukraine’s Ethnic Hungarians

© Flickr / Mátyás VargaMatthias Church and Fishermen, Budapest, Hungary
Matthias Church and Fishermen, Budapest, Hungary - Sputnik International
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Hungarian agents in Ukraine are working hard to safeguard the interests of ethnic Hungarians living in the former Soviet republic, János Lázár, the chief of cabinet to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, told the MPs on Tuesday.

Local residents of the village of Rakoshyno, some 30 km from the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod, in the province of Transcarpathia - Sputnik International
One for All, All for One: Hungarians Want to Protect Their Kin in Ukraine
In his report to parliament on the work done by the country’s intelligence services, János Lázár, who is responsible for civilian intelligence, cited the Ukrainian crisis as a primary example of radical changes to security in the region over the past year. 

Hungary shares borders with a country engaged in an armed conflict, The Budapest Beacon reported.

According to Lázár, Hungarian spies have been active in Kiev, just like the spies of other regional neighbors, to ensure that political leaders are able to promote Hungary’s interests.

He also stated that the government and the Information Office — the country’s non-military intelligence gathering agency  — are convinced that the future of Hungarians living in the Transcarpathia (southwestern Ukraine) will be a serious issue in the coming decade, and that the Information Office is working to protect Hungarian citizens in the Carpathian Basin.

These operations are the first in twenty-five years in which the Hungarian government is openly undertaking activities in Ukraine in total opposition to the wishes of the Ukrainian government.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry is doing what it can to stop Hungary’s spies and Hungarian diplomats from undertaking operations in Ukraine, Lázár said.

Ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia account for about 12 percent of the region’s population.

Speaking in parliament in May Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said the “Hungarian community should enjoy dual citizenship and broad autonomy rights”.

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