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Ukraine to protest over Orban scarf

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Ukrainian media said the scarf depicted a map of ‘Greater Hungary’ including territory that is now part of the neighbouring states of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine

Ukraine will summon the Hungarian ambassador to protest that Prime Minister Viktor Orban went to a football match wearing a scarf depicting some Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Ukrainian media showed images of Orban meeting a Hungarian footballer wearing a scarf which the outlet Ukrainska Pravda said depicted a map of “Greater Hungary” including territory that is now part of the neighbouring states of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine.

“The promotion of revisionism ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and does not comply with the principles of European policy,” Ukrainian ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Facebook.

Nikolenko said Ukraine wanted an apology and a rebuttal of any Hungarian claims on Ukrainian territory.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Orban did not directly address the controversy over the scarf.

“Soccer is not politics. Do not read things into it that are not there,” he wrote. “The Hungarian national team belongs to all Hungarians, wherever they live!”

The two countries have repeatedly clashed in recent years over what Hungary said were curbs on the right of ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine to use their native tongue, especially in education, after Ukraine passed a law in 2017 restricting the use of minority languages in schools.

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