Leader of Hungary’s Jobbik party apologizes to Ukraine for ‘observing’ sham elections in occupied Donetsk

3 December 2022, 08:01 PM
Márton Gyöngyösi (Photo:Gyöngyösi Márton/Facebook)

Márton Gyöngyösi (Photo:Gyöngyösi Márton/Facebook)

The leader of the Hungarian conservative political party Jobbik, Márton Gyöngyösi, banned from entering Ukraine since 2015 for being "a sham election observer" in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast, has apologized for illegally entering Ukraine.

In an interview with Ukrainian news portal European Pravda on Dec. 3, Gyöngyösi admitted breaking Ukrainian law, but said it was because he was “upset” about the abolition of a Ukrainian law on minority languages.

"It's true that I was an ‘election observer’ in the Donbas in 2015, and this... Yes, you are right, I owe you an explanation. I wouldn't have done it now. Please accept my apologies," Gyöngyösi said.

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He said he had turned to Russia in search of allies concerned about the problems of national minorities in Ukraine, with the aim of “protecting the rights of Hungarian people” in Ukraine.

"In my opinion, the abolition of the language law was a kind of aggression from the new government's side,” Gyöngyösi  said.

“It left most Hungarians with bad feelings. I remember I was very upset. At the moment I thought there was only one country who recognized the problem and was willing to support us with political claims, as it also was trying to protect its minority in Ukraine. It was Russia.”

He claimed he had accepted Russia's invitation, but "he wouldn’t do it now and wouldn't travel to the Donbas" as he realized the hidden Russian intentions, and its consequences.

He said Ukraine had his complete support in the war initiated by Russia.

"I also do this because of Hungarians from Ukraine who fight for Ukraine under the Ukrainian flag against Russian aggression,” Gyöngyösi said.

“Fighting for Ukraine, they’re also fight for their motherland, Zakarpattia, where they were born and raised. They want to see Ukraine a pro-Western, European country and they want to live in the free and sovereign Ukraine.”

Jobbik political party members have a history of supporting separatism in Ukraine, and undermining the territorial integrity of the country.

Some were "official observers" in the sham referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea and the illegal elections in the "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" held by Russia.

And the former leader of the party, Tomasz Schneider, claimed during a visit to Ukraine’s western Zakarpattia Oblast in 2019 that the region should gain autonomy.

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