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Orban panned by Hungary’s neighbors for ‘revisionist’ scarf showing expanded borders

Ukraine demands apology, Romania stresses its disapproval after Hungarian prime minister wears garment showing outline of his country encompassing parts of neighbors

Screen capture from video of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban  wearing a scarf that depicted historical Hungary, including parts of Ukraine and neighboring countries, November 22. 2022. (Facebook. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing a scarf that depicted historical Hungary, including parts of Ukraine and neighboring countries, November 22. 2022. (Facebook. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Prime Minister Viktor Orban came under pressure Tuesday to apologize after wearing a scarf that depicted historical Hungary, including parts of Ukraine and neighboring countries.

During a football match between Hungary and Greece on Sunday, the nationalist premier wore a controversial scarf that shows a map with the historical boundaries of Hungary before a post-World War I treaty.

The map’s outline includes parts of Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Orban posted a video of him wearing the scarf on Facebook.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Tuesday Kyiv would summon Hungary’s ambassador “who will be informed of the unacceptability of Viktor Orban’s act.”

“The promotion of revisionist ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations,” he said on Tuesday in a statement on Facebook.

“We are waiting for an official apology from the Hungarian side and a refutation of the encroachments on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Éljen a válogatott csúcstartó! Köszönünk mindent, Balázs!

Éljen a válogatott csúcstartó! Köszönünk mindent, Balázs!

Posted by Orbán Viktor on Monday, November 21, 2022

Romania’s foreign ministry also responded angrily, saying it “has submitted to the Hungarian ambassador in Bucharest the firm disapproval for the gesture” of Orban.

“Any revisionist manifestation, no matter what form it takes, is unacceptable, against current realities and common commitments,” it said in a statement on Monday.

Orban on Tuesday said the Hungarian national team was “the team of all Hungarians wherever they live.”

“Football is not politics. Let’s not see what is not there,” Orban said on Facebook.

Orban has regularly provoked controversies with neighboring countries by harping on pre-World War I Hungary’s territory.

Around two million ethnic Hungarians live in the neighboring countries, including 1.2 million in Romania and 150,000 in Ukraine.

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