The Ministry of Interior of Hungary has said that the United States is “taking revenge” on Hungarians following the decision of the latter to restrict visa-free travel rules.
Through an official statement issued earlier this week, the Ministry disclosed that the US had required the government of Hungary to share the personal information of Hungarian passport holders with dual citizenship that live abroad.
Moreover, through the same statement, the Ministry said that they do not plan on sharing such information and, at the same time, stressed that this is nothing but revenge on Hungarians.
“The United States of America demands from Hungary the disclosure of the personal data of those 900,000 Hungarians with dual citizenship living abroad. Hungary will, however, not release such data to anyone because that would compromise the security of Hungarians living abroad,” the Hungarian interior ministry’s state secretary, Bence Rétvári, said.
According to About Hungary, the spokesperson of the US State Department, Matthew Millar, said that the decision of the US to tighten the visa-free travel rules for Hungarian has nothing to do with any issue other than the country’s compliance with the Visa Waiver Program.
Reacting to such a remark made by Millar, the state secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Hungary, Bence Rétvári, said that his statement is false and deceptive.
On the other hand, Miller said that the US raised the issue with the Hungarian government and gave them the opportunity to address the situation, but they refused to do so.
Additionally, when asked whether the US has any concrete information on who are the people with questionable backgrounds entering the territory of the US with a Hungarian passport, Miller said that he does not have any information on this.
“We looked at the fact that there were people who were getting passports without going through a rigorous screening that we think is necessary to gain,” Miller stressed.
As About Hungary explains, Rétvári said that the Hungarian authorities had conducted a legal procedure in all cases that have been indicated by the law enforcement authorities of the US. the same stressed that all persons who have been subject to the criminal investigation have been stripped of Hungarian citizenship.
In line with the new rules that the US has imposed, Hungarian passport holders now need to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization every year. Moreover, they will be permitted to enter the territory of the US only once during a single year.