Hungarian official denied entry to Ukraine

Hungarian official denied entry to Ukraine

Hungarian Government Commissioner for Cooperation between Hungary's Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County and Ukraine's Zakarpattia Region Istvan Grezsa, who had been banned from entering Ukraine due to his interference in the October 25 local elections, has not been allowed to enter the country, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said in a statement.

"On November 24, the Hungarian Government Commissioner for Cooperation between Hungary's Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County Region and Ukraine's Zakarpattia Region, Mr. Istvan Grezsa, was denied entry to Ukraine due to the existing ban. The decision to refuse entry to foreigners is made in accordance with the current law of Ukraine. One of the reasons for this is the establishment of the facts of violation by a foreigner of the legislation of Ukraine," the statement reads.

The ministry said that in the case of Grezsa, there were public violations of the Electoral Code of Ukraine, which prohibit foreigners from campaigning for any political party in Ukraine - a participant in the election process.

"The decision made does not concern the sphere of interstate relations. The entry ban is connected exclusively with the actions of a concrete citizen, which contain signs of an offense," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

It also added that in accordance with the established procedure, the decision to refuse entry to Ukraine is read out to a foreigner at a Ukrainian state border checkpoint.

"The legislation of Ukraine does not provide for the possibility of informing a foreigner in advance about the decision to ban him or her from entering the territory of the Ukrainian state. Once again, we urge foreign citizens visiting Ukraine, regardless of their positions, to respect the legislation of our state," a ministry spokesperson said.

On October 25, the day of voting in the Ukrainian local elections, relations between Ukraine and Hungary worsened due to the call by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to the Hungarians of Zakarpattia region to support a Hungarian party and the incumbent mayor of Berehove.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry regarded this as interference in Ukraine's internal affairs, handed a note to the Hungarian ambassador and banned two high-ranking Hungarian officials from entering Ukraine.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the ban applied to the secretary of state in the office of the Hungarian prime minister. At the same time, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry refused to name a second Hungarian official who was banned from entering Ukraine due to illegal campaigning during the local elections.

On October 29, Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bondar said that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry considered the dispute over Hungary's interference in Ukraine's internal affairs in the local elections to be over.


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