Hungary altered a political video ad after Ukraine accused it of a "provocative act"
The Hungarian government has deleted a video clip calling for peace in Ukraine, which identified the Crimean peninsula as part of Russia following backlash from Kiev.
Earlier this week, the Hungarian government released a 30-second political ad showing, among other things, a schematic map outlining Ukraine's borders, which did not include Crimea. The peninsula overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in 2014 following a Western-backed coup in Kiev. Neither Ukraine nor its Western backers have recognized the referendum's results.
In an apparent hint towards a possible international peace summit, another part of the video also featured a conference room with the flags of Russia, Ukraine, the US and several other countries.
The video left Kiev fuming, with the Ukrainian foreign ministry urging Budapest on Saturday to "stop engaging in provocative acts" and recalling that the clip contradicts Hungary's official stance on Crimea's status.
"Playing along with the aggressive policy of Russia does not contribute to the faster restoration of peace in Europe, which the Hungarian government advocates in public," the ministry added.
Following the controversy, the video was deleted without any explanation from Budapest. On Sunday, a new version of the clip emerged on the Hungarian government's official YouTube channel and Facebook page, with Crimea now designated as part of Ukraine.
Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, Hungary has repeatedly called for the two sides to enter peace negotiations while signaling readiness to host talks between Moscow and Kiev. It has also denounced anti-Russian sanctions as counterproductive, claiming they only damage the EU economy. In addition to this, Budapest has been reluctant to send weapons to Ukraine and has banned their transit to the neighboring country.