Amid growing tensions between Hungary and Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Ministers Pavlo Klimkin visits Budapest on Thursday

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin confirmed on Tuesday that he will visit Budapest on October 12, with the aim of explaining the essence of the new Ukrainian education law to his Hungarian partners.

Klimkin commented on Twitter that he was surprised by Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó's suggestion that Budapest initiates a revision of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

He also announced that he would invite the ambassadors of all European partner states to visit Transcarpathia. He stressed that the ambassadors of the EU countries will have an opportunity to "talk directly to the inhabitants of the region".

Article 7 of the Education Law adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament on September 5, which entered into force at the end of last month, has triggered fierce protests from several countries, including Hungary, Romania and Poland.

The law states: In Ukraine, the language of instruction is Ukrainian. Accordingly, minorities are allowed to study in their mother tongue only up to 4th grade and only in local government run educational institutions. Starting from the 5th grade, all students without exception must attend Ukrainian language schools regardless of their mother tongue.

This provision of the law, according to the organizations of the national minorities, violates the Constitution of Ukraine, and its obligations under international conventions and agreements.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, on his visit to Ungvár on Monday, stated that the Ukrainian Education Act was fundamentally in breach of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, and next Monday at the foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, Hungary will initiate the revision of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

The minister, who met the leaders of Transcarpathian Hungarian organizations and the churches, stated that the law virtually eliminates the operation of Hungarian schools in Ukraine; it removes the rights of minorities to study in the mother tongue over the age of 10.

(MTI -


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