NewsHungary's foreign minister receives death threats before controversial Ukraine visit

Hungary's foreign minister receives death threats before controversial Ukraine visit

The Hungarian flag.
The Hungarian flag.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | katarzyna
12:31 PM EST, January 23, 2024

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"Expect a bombastic welcome on January 29," was written in a message sent to the Hungarian embassy in Kyiv. The chilling message went on: "An armored train won't save you. We suggest you make arrangements with the funeral home so they can start crafting a coffin for Szijjarto, tailored to his height."

The Index obtained an email written in Ukrainian which accused the government in Budapest of acting against Ukraine's interests. "Do you think your minister can just visit us after the attacks on Ukraine? We don't think so," the email included.

The rancorous email closed with: "God forgives, but Ukrainians don't."

"Threats and pressures will not deter us"

Mate Paczolay, the spokesman for the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reassured the portal that the Ukrainian side has guaranteed security measures for Szijjarto's visit to Transcarpathia. He added that Hungarian services are in constant contact with their Ukrainian counterparts.

"Those who believe that they can deter us with threats and pressure do not know the Hungarians," wrote Tamas Menczer, the Deputy Foreign Minister, on Facebook.

Meeting in Uzhhorod

Szijjarto is also scheduled to meet with Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky's office, in Uzhhorod. They are expected to discuss discrepancies in bilateral relations and the possibility of a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Zelensky.

Around 100,000 Hungarians currently reside in the Ukrainian Transcarpathia.

Tense relations between Ukraine and Hungary

Viktor Orban's government opposes Ukraine's integration with the European Union. It additionally blocks EU financial aid, approximately $55 billion, and this will be the subject of an extraordinary EU summit on February 1st.

Neither Orban or Szijjarto have visited Kyiv since the onset of the Russian invasion, despite Zelensky inviting the head of the Hungarian government during a meeting in Brussels early last year.

The last meeting between Zelensky and Orban occurred in December during the inauguration of the new Argentinean President Javier Milei. Cameras captured a brief, animated conversation between the leaders, but without audio.

The first meeting between Szijjarto and Kuleba since the Russian invasion was in Brussels in December, just before the decision to commence accession negotiations between Kyiv and the EU.

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