Budapest expels first secretary of Ukraine's embassy in Hungary, response disproportionate
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has said it does not consider Hungary's decision to expel a Ukrainian diplomat from Hungary a proportional response, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mariana Betsa has said.
"I can confirm that today our ambassador in Hungary was invited to Hungary's Foreign Ministry and told that the first secretary of Ukraine's embassy in Hungary, a diplomat who performs consular functions, would be expelled. During the next 72 hours he must leave Hungary as a part of a proportional response (to Ukraine's decision to declare persona non grata Hungary's consul in Berehove, Zakarpattia). We think this is not a proportional response," Betsa said.
"Our employee is an embassy diplomat, not just a consular officer, as was the case in Berehove. They have a different status. He is not a consular officer, but a diplomat who works in the embassy," she said, adding that the Ukrainian diplomat has not violated any norms of international law, such as the Vienna Convention.
As reported earlier, Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine Erno Keskeny on Thursday was handed a note that the Hungarian consul in the town of Berehove in Zakarpattia region was declared persona non grata and must leave Ukraine within 72 hours, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said.
According to the ministry's press service, Keskeny was handed a note "with the information that according to Article 23 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, in connection with activities incompatible with the status of a consular officer, the consul of the Consulate of Hungary in the town of Berehove must leave the territory of Ukraine within the next 72 hours."
"We hope that the Hungarian side will refrain from any unfriendly steps towards Ukraine in the future and that its officials will not violate Ukrainian legislation," the ministry said.
The ministry said that Kyiv views Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian descent "as a unifying factor in relations between the two states."
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on October 3 that Kyiv would send a note to Hungary on October 4 demanding that the Hungarian consul stationed in Berehove leave Ukraine.