Ukraine, which has sizable Hungarian, Russian and Romanian minorities, passed legislation on September 5 obliging teachers to use only Ukrainian in secondary schools, saying it wanted to help minorities integrate and get public sector jobs.
Visiting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin (L) shakes hands with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto during their meeting in Budapest, Hungary, on October 12, 2017.
"Hungary and Ukraine judge the Ukrainian education law completely differently", Szijjarto said at a press conference following discussions with his Ukrainian colleague Pavlo Klimkin, who assured that the law was not directed against people.
Klimkin said not knowing the native language made it hard for minorities to be successful in Ukraine.
"Hungary does not want debates and struggles with Ukraine, but demands that Hungarian minorities in Transcarpathia enjoy the same rights as before the adoption of the law", he said. Differences remain between the Hungarian and Ukrainian standpoints concerning the recently adopted Ukrainian education law, but parties welcomed the continuous dialogue, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said here Thursday.
"We will not close a single school, fire a single teacher", he said. "Our logic is simple: every citizen must speak Ukrainian beside their mother tongue to ensure their future success".
The education law passed last month specifies that Ukrainian will be the main language used in schools, rolling back the option for lessons to be taught in other languages.
Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Natalia Sevostyanova said this live on the 112 Ukraine television channel on October 12, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
He repeated that the policy of Hungary's cross-border policy was determined by the position of the Hungarian communities living beyond the borders.
Kyiv's legislation has also ruffled feathers in Romania. "In any case, I am sure that reference to the Venice Commission is the best way out of this situation, and all their recommendations will be taken into account", Sevostyanova said.