Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wears a scarf around his neck with a map of Greater Hungary at a soccer match on November 20.
The foreign ministries of Romania and Ukraine have criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after he posted photographs on Facebook showing himself wearing a scarf with a map of so-called Greater Hungary, which includes territories of present-day Austria, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, and Croatia.
In a November 22 statement, Romania's Foreign Ministry said Bucharest had conveyed its "firm disapproval" to Budapest over the pictures, while Kyiv said it expected an "official apology" for violating its "territorial integrity."
"Any revisionist manifestation, regardless of the form it takes, is unacceptable, contrary to current realities and to the commitments undertaken jointly by Romania and Hungary," the Romanian statement said.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko wrote on Facebook that "the promotion of revisionist ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and does not comply with the principles of European policy."
"We are waiting for an official apology from the Hungarian side and a rebuttal of any Hungarian claims on Ukrainian territory," he added. Orban wore the scarf to a soccer match in Budapest between Hungary and Greece on November 20. The image depicts Hungary's 1920 borders. Hungary, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, lost some two-thirds of its territory after its defeat in World War I and the adoption of the 1921 Treaty of Trianon. Alin Mituta, a Romanian member of the European Parliament, said on Twitter that Orban's behavior was "irresponsible" given Russia's ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the "annexation" of some Ukrainian territory.
Orban has long used myth-building, revisionist statements and gestures as a foundation of his populist rule in Hungary. He frequently positions himself as the leader of ethnic Hungarians living beyond Hungary's current borders, and his government has granted them citizenship and voting rights. Orban -- who is Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest ally within the European Union -- drew criticism earlier this month when he marked the anniversary of the Soviet Union's suppression of Hungary's 1956 uprising on Twitter with a post that said vaguely, "they crushed our revolution in 1956," without identifying to whom "they" referred.