Hungarian president under fire for comparing annexation of Crimea to Transylvania

Hungarian President János Áder’s statement comparing Russia’s annexation of Crimea to the Treaty of Trianon apparently hit a nerve among some Romanian politicians. Current and wannabe National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Ludovic Orban and Social Democrat Party (PSD) leader Marcel Ciolacu have been keen to react and label the statement as offensive to Romanians.

Ludovic Orban, who has Hungarian blood running through his veins, has called János Áder’s statement “combative” and “insulting” because, in his view, comparing Transylvania’s annexation to Crimea’s annexation has “no connection to the historical truth.”

“Hungarian citizens log in their memory the aggression of occupying powers, as well as the trauma caused by Trianon, and understand why the annexation of Crimea has remained an open wound for the Ukrainian people,” Hungarian President János Áder said on Monday at the summit of the International Crimea Platform in Kiev, the MTI Hungarian news agency reported.

“After World War I, Hungary was stripped of two-thirds of its territory and population. The century-old wound of Hungarians who became a minority is that the states who received their homeland have taken away their ancestral schools and did everything within their power to diminish education in their native language,” Áder said during the conference.

“It is an insult to Romania to compare the Russian annexation of Crimea to a decision that was actually made based on the will of the people in the international context of the end of World War I,” Orban told the Romanian press.

Romania PM Florin Cîţu said Áder’s statements must be discussed in Bucharest.

PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu is outraged by the Hungarian president’s words but is most keen to highlight the lack of reaction from the Romanian PM and president. “There is nothing to compare here!” he wrote on his Facebook page, adding that Transylvania’s union with Romania was unanimously agreed to by Romanians. He doesn’t go into detail regarding the will of Hungarians at that time.

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allegedly made it clear through direct diplomatic channels that the Hungarian president’s statement was improper, according to government sources cited by the Romanian news portal Digi24.

Featured image: Marcel Ciolacu (left) and Ludovic Orban (right). Image source: RaduBadoiu@GuvernulRomaniei

Author: István Fekete