Hungary allows Ukraine’s participation in the NATO Summit

Hungary will no longer block Ukraine’s participation in the NATO Summit. However, Hungary’s decision to block political meetings of the Ukraine-NATO Commission remains in force, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated.

 “Recently I met with Mike Pompeo in Washington and I told him there that we are not against the NATO Summit with the participation of Ukraine, which will take place in July in Brussels. Security issues, including those concerning the Black Sea region, will be discussed,” cites Szijjártó as saying following a meeting of the Hungarian-Ukrainian intergovernmental working group on Ukraine’s Law of Education.

Four ministers took part in it in the discussion: Ministers of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Liliia Hrynevych, and the Head of the Ministry of Human Capacities, Miklós Kásler.

Klimkin stated that these meetings served as very important consultations on how to implement the new education law. According to him, the next consultations will take place in early July, since there are positive dynamics.

“We are interested in protecting the Hungarian national minority and are aware that everyone could speak Ukrainian. We should train teachers to teach the Ukrainian language; we should change the methodology,” Klimkin stated

“Hungarians of Zakarpattia should preserve their identity, but at the same time, speak Ukrainian fluently,” Hrynevych added. “We carried out very detailed consultations on the implementation of the Law on Education. We are equipping classrooms of national minorities with the tools to learn Ukrainian. The law on secondary education should specify how Article 7 of the law will be implemented. We discussed it with Hungarian colleagues,” Liliia Hrynevych added.

Since autumn 2017, the conflict caused by a language article in Ukraine’s new law on education has continued between Ukraine and Hungary. Budapest believes that the law undermines the rights of the Hungarians of Zakarpattia. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently began blocking Ukraine’s participation in NATO activities.

Specifically, Hungary blocked several meetings of the Ukraine-NATO Commission of Heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, on March 20, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its intention to block participation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the NATO Summit, which is set to take place in Brussels in July. Poroshenko answered that he will not cancel his trip.

  Ukraine, Hungary, law on education