Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Window on Eurasia: A Dangerous Echo in Eastern Europe of Moscow’s Irredentism in Ukraine

Paul Goble


            Staunton, July 29 – Russia’s Regnum news agency is reporting something that Moscow’s policies in Ukraine have helped promote: a Hungarian leader in Transylvania is now demanding “total national independence” from Romania, a move that could thoroughly destabilize not only Romania and Hungary but much of Eastern Europe.


            Lazlo Tokes, whom Regnum describes as “one of the leaders of the Hungarians of Transylvania,” said yesterday at a Hungarian summer school in Băile Tușnad that “the time for a Hungarian autonomy has passed” and that he and his people must now demand “total national independence” from Romania (regnum.ru/news/polit/1830318.html).


            At the same time, Tokes acknowledged that at present he does “not have any basis for optimism” that this will occur because of what he called “the colonization” of Transylvania by Romanians, a Bucharest policy that he said has “converted [the Hungarian community] there into a diaspora.”


            And he said that the Hungarians could not afford to wait any longer to press for independence. “There is no time for indefiniteness or political opportunism … Out time is now; it is necessary to act now ... Only total national independence can bring a rebirth to the Hungarian community.”


            Moreover, Tokes added, the issue of autonomy for various ethnic groups has become “a key problem for the national security of Europe and the European Union,” and granting autonomy to ethnic minorities is “the only path of resolving relations between neighboring countries.”


            For the edification of its readers, Regnum appended to this report a brief history of the often-troubled and sometimes explosive history of their region over the last century.  

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