According to Istvan Grezsa, the Ministerial Commissioner for cooperation of the border regions of Hungary and Ukraine, the Hungarian government is opening Ukrainian language courses in the city of Berehove, in Transcarpathia, for local Hungarians. The news outlet European Pravda reported that Grezsa emphasized that the courses would be free, and that the purpose of the project is to reduce tensions between the two countries.
"Given the state of the relations that has developed between our countries, I suggested organizing Ukrainian language courses for Transcarpathian Hungarians in parallel with Hungarian language . More than 300 Hungarians in Transcarpathia were enrolled in the first 48 hours after the Ukrainian courses were announced,” Grezsa stated. The Francis II Rakoczi Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute will provide the courses, which will start at the beginning of 2019.
Relations between Ukraine and Hungary became strained after Kyiv adopted the new Ukrainian Education Act that came into force on September 28, 2017. Budapest officials claimed the law violated the Hungarian minority’s rights by making the Ukrainian language compulsory for teaching. In response, Hungary has taken nearly every opportunity to block meetings about Ukraine’s cooperation with the EU and NATO.