Hungary declares boycott on Ukraine in international organizations due to new Ukrainian education law

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to Budapest in connection with the law on education. The Hungarian diplomat has issued a directive not to support decisions which are important to Ukraine in international organizations, Radio Svoboda reports.

The Hungarian foreign minister is summoning Ukrainian ambassador Liubov Nepop to the embassy on Monday, September 11, on account of the recently adopted law on education.

“Szijjártó has instructed for Hungarian diplomats not to support any of the Ukrainian initiatives in international organizations, and also that henceforth Hungary will no longer support decisions important to Ukraine,” stated the press secretary of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Tamash Mentser,  

According to him, at every UN, OSCE and EU forum, Budapest will raise the issue of the recent amendments to the language article of the Ukrainian law on education.

Mentser observed that at Szijjártó’s personal instruction, Hungarian diplomacy will impede Ukraine’s implementation of matters which are important to it in the international arena.

He explained that on the one hand this decision was based on the changes in the Ukrainian law on education, which makes it impossible for Ukrainian national minorities, including the 150,000 Hungarians, to receive education in their native language. On the other hand, when Szijjártó brought up this matter with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at a meeting as part of the EU Eastern Partnership program, the Ukrainian colleague’s response was unacceptable to the Hungarian politician, Mentser emphasized.

The press secretary for the Hungarian Foreign Ministry added that on September 7, Szijjártó said in Estonia that with its new education policy, Ukraine had stabbed its neighboring country in the back.

“We were the ones who supported the visa-free regime for Ukraine the loudest; one of the first to ratify the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, opened reverse gas through Hurgany. From us [Ukraine] received humanitarian aid amounting to 600 million forint (more than $2 million). For the last three years we have made it possible for 2,600 Ukrainian children to have leisure and recreational holidays in Hungary,” the Hungarian Foreign Minister said in Tallinn.

On September 5, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on education which begins a reform of education in Ukraine. Amongst other things, the law specifies that the language of the educational process in educational institutions shall be the national language.

  Hungary, Ukraine, law on education