Hungary accuses Ukraine of launching an ‘international campaign of lies’

Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó accused the Ukrainian authorities of launching an "international campaign of lies" regarding the new law on education.

"Ukraine has launched an international campaign of lies against Hungary and against the Hungarians living in Transcarpathia," the website of the Hungarian government quotes Szijjártó as saying.

Szijjártó rejected the accusations by Ukraine that representatives of the Hungarian minority refused to come to the meeting and agree on a new version of the law on education.

According to Szijjártó, the Hungarians had reasons not to go to Kyiv, because "an attempt was made to force them to accept that the new version of the law, which is contrary to international norms, has already been approved."

"If the Transcarpathian Hungarians had gone to this meeting, they would have practically approved the law on education, which seriously violates international law and the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians and which the European Union and the Venice Commission asked to change," he said.

"They [the authorities of Ukraine] have actually started to introduce the law on education and have notified the Hungarian schools that beginning in September the teaching of world literature will be conducted in the Ukrainian language," Szijjártó protested.

As a result, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary has demanded that the Ukrainian authorities suspend the law on education.

On September 5th last year, the Verkhovna Rada approved the law "On Education", which, in particular, regulates the use of the Ukrainian language in the Ukrainian education system. On September 28th, the law came into effect.

The law provides that children will have the opportunity to study in their native language only in primary school - the first four years. From the fifth grade, subjects should be taught in Ukrainian.

Hungary said that it would block any European integration initiatives involving Ukraine because of the “language issues” of the new version of the law on education.

  Hungary, Ukraine, Peter Szijjarto, law on education, Venice commission