Hungary accuses Ukraine of making new restrictions on the rights of national minorities

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has claimed that Ukraine is making new restrictions on the rights of national minorities.

A corresponding statement by Szijjártó was posted on the Hungarian Foreign Ministry’s website.

"Instead of mitigating the conflicts, Ukraine has made further proposals for the restriction of language use and citizenship. For instance, it will be compulsory to display a Ukrainian transcript of the dialogue during theatre productions, and Hungarian newspapers will also have to be published in two languages," Szijjártó said.

The Minister added that the Hungarian government will oppose such measures, in addition to its opposition of the law “On Education”.

On September 5, 2017, the Verkhovna Rada voted to adopt the law "On Education" by 255 votes. The law specifically regulates the use of the Ukrainian language in education; it came into force on September 28.

The law requires that beginning September 1, 2018, schoolchildren will have the opportunity to be instructed solely in their native language throughout primary school, which lasts for the first four years of their education. Beginning in the fifth grade, all subjects must be taught in Ukrainian.

Hungary said that it intends to block any European integration initiatives by Ukraine due to the language regulations established in the new version of the law “On Education”. In December, the Venice Commission examined the language article of the law, and did not support Hungary’s claims.

In December, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs named three conditions for improved relations with Ukraine.

  Hungary, law on education, Ukraine