Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Szijjártó doesn’t seem to remember 1848 and 1956

March 16. 2022. – 12:43 PM



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Translation by Andrea Horváth Kávai

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmitrij Kuleba used a quote from Lajos Kossuth to scoff at his Hungarian counterpart, Péter Szijjártó reminding him about 1848 and 1956 – as he expressed criticism about the Hungarian government’s policy regarding Russia and Ukraine.

“Reading my colleague’s statements, we are beginning to doubt that he remembers the Hungarian revolution of 1848-49, when the Russian army defeated the Hungarian struggle for independence, or 1956, when Soviet tanks trampled freedom on the streets of Budapest, as the Hungarians sought the help of the West in vain.”

-commented Kuleba on the Hungarian Foreign Minister’s recent statements. The Ukrainian politician’s words are quoted by the Kyiv-based Pravda, and a summary was published on the Facebook page of Ukraine’s Budapest embassy as well.

“Concern for the safety of Hungarian citizens doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to the murder of Ukrainian citizens. I call on the Hungarian authorities to take a clear stand by Ukraine’s side and provide all necessary support” – says Kuleba, warning that Russia is not likely to stop in Ukraine. In his opinion, this is shown by the Sunday attack in Javoriv, near the Polish border, where 35 people lost their lives when a NATO training base was targeted.

“Ukrainians are not only protecting their own country, but the entire Eastern wing of NATO, including Hungary” – said Kuleba who closed with a quote from Lajos Kossuth (Hungarian politician and leader during the 1848 revolution):

“Kossuth said that freedom belongs to all. In my opinion, if he were alive today, he would most definitely side with Ukraine.”

Last Monday, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Budapest addressed the Hungarian people in tears: “You won’t have strategic peace until the grave. You will be next, because Putin will not stop!” – Nepop Ljubov said at a conference, reminding her audience that Hungary still holds a grievance because the West did not send help to fight the Russians in 1956, and adding that today, Ukraine is in a similar situation. Fidesz MP Gyula Budai called the ambassador’s words unfair, claiming that with this, the ambassador has “set foot in the Hungarian election campaign”. He was joined by other governing-party politicians in his criticism of the Ambassador.

A few days later, when commenting on a large humanitarian donation, Ljubov thanked the Hungarians for their help. In a Hungarian-language video posted on 15 March, she expressed her thanks once again, and requested that Hungary support the imposing of a no-fly zone over Ukraine (which NATO has categorically refused).

Quoting Kossuth as well, she said:

“The just man wishes everyone to be free. The unjust man wishes this only for himself.”