Dr. László Brenzovics of Ukraine to Visit Washington, D.C.

President of Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia

Washington, DC – Dr. László Brenzovics, the sole ethnic Hungarian deputy in the Parliament of Ukraine, arrives in Washington, D.C. next week, on a visit hosted by the Hungarian American Coalition.

Brenzovics is scheduled to meet with officials from the State Department and U.S. Congress, to provide first-hand information on the plight of the Hungarian national minority in Ukraine.

In addition to meeting with U.S. officials, Brenzovics will speak at a roundtable discussion hosted by the Center for Transatlantic Relations of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The Embassy of Hungary is hosting a reception in his honor, where he will meet with Hungarian-American community leaders. Brenzovics will also attend the Coalition’s annual Gala Dinner on April 25.

The Hungarian minority in Ukraine, numbering 150,000, lives in the multi-ethnic region of Sub-Carpathia, near the Hungarian border. Ukraine is bound by international commitments to protect national minority rights, including native-language education at all levels – the key to preserving the community’s identity and its very future in the region. However, the recently passed education law severely undercuts native-language instruction. Moreover, Ukrainian officials and media publish hostile and accusatory statements that stigmatize the Hungarian minority and other ethnic groups, and embolden extremist Ukrainian nationalists, whose anti-Hungarian attacks – including acts of vandalism and a terrorist attack earlier this year – have sharply increased in recent years.

“The economic crisis and the Ukrainian–Russian conflict feed social tensions, and Ukrainian politicians and the media exploit these tensions to stigmatize the Hungarian minority,” stated Brenzovics, President of the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia. “Their purpose is, in the short run, to limit minority rights to use their native language, and in the long run to assimilate them.”

In fact, protection of minority rights and other pillars of international law would encourage Ukraine’s integration into Western international institutions and alliances – a goal fervently shared by the Hungarian national minority.

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