Péter Szijjártó said that the pressure on the government is enormous, but they will not give up on the protection of the Transcarpathian Hungarians under any circumstances.Continue reading
Hungary will not be able to support Ukraine’s transatlantic and European integration in any case as long as Hungarian schools in Transcarpathia are in danger, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó wrote on his Facebook page, after talks with Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the UN.
In a Facebook post, the Hungarian Foreign Minister recalled that while 1,300 schools and kindergartens in Hungary are accepting children and students who are refugees from Ukraine, 99 Hungarian primary and secondary schools in Ukraine are in danger of being closed due to the Ukrainian education law.
He added that since 2015, Ukraine has passed a number of laws that have gradually violated and reduced minority rights related to the use of mother tongues.
For the past eight years, we have been receiving promises from the Ukrainian authorities that they would solve this problem, but in fact they have done nothing,”
The foreign minister made it clear to Ilze Brands Kehris that Hungary will not be able to support Ukraine’s transatlantic and European integration as long as Hungarian schools in Transcarpathia are in danger.
Ukraine would like to join the European Union, but one of the conditions for them to start negotiations on their accession to the European Union was adopting a new law on national minorities. Therefore, a new law on the subject was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament last December; however, it came short of solving the actual problems.
Immediately after the adoption, the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Ukraine criticized the new law on national communities in Ukraine in a joint statement. They said that the Ukrainian lawmakers completely ignored constructive proposals previously made by Hungarian and other minority organizations. According to them,
…the law not only reinforces the restrictions on rights previously codified in the Education and Language Law that was hurtful to Hungarian communities, but also introduces new ones, and it “does not guarantee the preservation of compact nationality settlement areas, nor the use of nationality symbols.”
Meanwhile, Hungarians face many setbacks in Ukraine, especially since the outbreak of the war between Ukraine and Russia. In January, Hungarian flags and signs were removed in the district of Mukachevo (Munkács), and the employment contract of István Schink, a well-respected headmaster of a Hungarian-language school in Mukachevo, was terminated with immediate effect. Moreover, The Executive Committee of the Municipality of Mukachevo decided back in October to remove from the Mukachevo Castle the statue of the Turul bird which was an icon of the city. The Hungarian historical symbol had been restored to its original form in 2008. The Turul bird was replaced by the Ukrainian coat of arms.
Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó