Hungary asked for the deployment of OSCE observers in Transcarpathia

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hungary asked for the permanent deployment of OSCE observers in Transcarpathia, said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Thursday in Vienna.

Speaking at the plenary session of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Szijjártó said Hungary appreciated the work of OSCE observers in Ukraine. The border monitoring mission of the organization on the Russian side of the Russian-Ukrainian border is led by a Hungarian diplomat - he recalled.

He stressed that earlier, Hungary strongly supported Ukraine's efforts to join the various EU bodies; but the Ukrainian Education Act, which was adopted in September was a huge disappointment - it significantly undermines the rights of national minorities to study in their mother tongue.

The law is contrary to Ukraine's bilateral and international obligations, and therefore, minorities' rights must be restored to their original state the foreign minister said.

Szijjártó pointed out that Hungary is worried about the situation in Transcarpathia, where 150,000 Hungarians live. Because of the precarious situation of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, Hungary initiated the deployment of permanent OSCE observers in the region, which can't be a problem, as the current mandate of the observers covers the entire country.

Szijjártó also added that Transcarpathia is a multi-ethnic part of Ukraine, and the new education law does not promote the peaceful coexistence of minorities in the region.

Two conditions need to be met to settle the issue of the Ukrainian education law - said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Thursday in Vienna after attending the meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Firstly, "not one single right could be taken away from the Hungarian minority" and second, the Hungarian minority has to agree with whatever new proposal offered as a solution to the dispute Szijjártó explained. If these two conditions are met, the Hungarian government will continue supporting Ukrainian efforts of European integration.

At the OSCE meeting Szijjártó met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and United States Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker; the foreign minister made it clear in both meetings that the two conditions should be met in order to settle the tense situation triggered by the Ukrainian education law.

(MTI -


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