Szabolcs Panyi Profile picture
Oct 6, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
What the hell is happening between #Hungary and #Ukraine, why are diplomatic tensions rising dramatically?

Thread for CEE&Hungary watchers, and for journalists covering the topic!…
It all started last year with Ukraine’s new education law requiring more Ukrainian language education for minorities who previously had much bigger autonomy. This ‘reform’ is a tool of Ukrainian nation-building&was primarily aimed at restricting Russian language education.
Collateral damage occurred as Polish, Romanian&Hungarian minorities were affected as well. Poland&Romania managed to solve the situation with Ukraine through negotiations but Hungary went berserk instead. Here’s a very good summary in English by @OSW_eng:…
In retaliation, Hungary started blocking UA’s EU&NATO ascension. This was a clever move by Orbán to put Hungary back on Washington’s radar and elevate his profile. Suddenly, top US diplomats had to meet Hungarian counterparts to mediate, something that hasn’t happened in years.
Meanwhile, it became obvious that Russia is meddling in Transcarpathia. Pro-Kremlin Polish fascists & later an Ukrainian national with Transnistrian ties carried out arson attacks against a Hungarian minority center.

Our @VSquare_Project investigation:…
With Russian efforts to incite ethnic tensions in Transcarpathia&Hungary's blocking of Ukraine’s NATO ascension, the million dollar question is whether Budapest & Moscow are coordinating their moves against Kyiv or not. It’s a popular theory, but without direct evidence (yet).
Despite Transcarpathia being a multi-ethnic region, minorities used to live together in peace. Now nationalism is on the rise thanks to both government’s actions, and of course, thanks to Russian efforts.

The topic even caught the @nytimes’ attention:…
Meanwhile, US diplomacy had to reprioritize their agenda in Hungary. Solving the HU-UA dispute is now on top of the list (@ceuhungary’s case is the other top priority question). There is less energy for previous concerns about media freedom, rule of law&human rights issues.
However, it is Ukraine that seems to be more interested in escalating the dispute right now, fueling Poroshenko’s struggling election campaign with nationalistic topics. As a result, Budapest is rumored to be considering the idea of throwing their support behind Yulia Tymoshenko.
And there is room for escalation. Hungary’s newly appointed ambassador to Kyiv is unable to start his job as his agrément hasn’t been accepted since mid-Summer. On the other side, Ukraine wants to appoint a new honorary consul in Hungary, but Budapest is not giving acceptance.
Given Viktor Orbán’s low acceptance among Western leaders, his shady pro-Russian ties and #Hungary’s relative isolation, Ukraine is in much better position in terms of international support. Funny that even Orbán’s strongest regional ally, Poland is more likely to side with Kyiv.
The most serious question, however, is what will happen to the poor people of Transcarpathia, the ones that have the most to lose. The most worrying example was when Ukrainian nationalists attacked Hungarian speaking Roma people and killed a young man.…
What is also worrying is that Ukraine started harassing Hungarians holding dual citizenship. It is not allowed by law to have dual citizenship in Ukraine, but there is no penalty for it either. Now authorities are prosecuting some Hungarians for treason.…

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More from @panyiszabolcs

Sep 11, 2018
"This is the first case in the history of Europe where a community condemns its own border guards”, Orbán said today.

Really? Read this thread!

1/ "We were not allowed to perform active operations” against Russian spies, a former HUN spycatcher claims.…
2/ “A Syrian man who is suspected of being the member of an international money laundering network” & "a key member of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, who is on the United States’ sanction list, was granted a residency permit in Hungary.”…
3/ "Western-trained HUN counterintelligence agents recently got word that a known operative of Russia’s foreign spy service was driving into Hungary, and asked headquarters for permission to pursue. Permission denied, came the firm order from Budapest.”…
Read 8 tweets
Mar 26, 2018
Bombshell leak by Viktor Orbán’s former close ally suggests the existence of a ‘HUNGARIAN LAUNDROMAT’.

-Stolen EU funds are laundered through diamonds&Arab shadow banking, hawala
-FBI uncovered the scheme&has a key witness under protection in the US

My ENG translation&thread:
Magyar Nemzet (‘Hungarian Nation’), a daily owned by Orbán’s best friend turned worst enemy, oligarch Lajos Simicska, started publishing leaks about this alleged scheme today. It is Simicska's revenge two weeks before the election. Original HUN article:…
The alleged scheme:
-Kickbacks from EU funded projects are smuggled out of HUN
-Money is parked in real estates in Vienna/turned into diamonds
-Arabic shadow banking system hawala is also used for transferring
-Money is laundered through Arab real estate investments in Hungary
Read 10 tweets

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