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Sep 15, 2017

Foreign ministers from Hungary, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria join forces to fight Ukraine's new education law

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, stands firmly behind calls to scrap Ukraine's new education law which is the latest international protestation to the law

Foreign ministers from Hungary, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria have sent their Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, Council of Europe's Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland and OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Lamberto Zannier a joint letter expressing "concern" and "deep regret" over Ukraine's new education law impacting minorities in the country.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, stands firmly behind the letter which is the latest international protestation to Ukraine's new education law. Earlier, we revealed how 37 MEPs had signed an open letter addressed to the president of Ukraine urging him to scrap the new law.

The Hungarian government recently said that Ukraine's amended education legislation "constitutes a curtailment of the rights of the minorities living in the country, and Ukraine thereby violated the core principles of the Association Agreement entered into with the European Union".

Katalin Szili, the prime minister’s Special Appointee, stressed that the Ukrainian legislature violated fundamental human rights when it passed a law that deprives minorities living in the country’s territory to choose their language of education, and the possibility of pursuing their studies in their mother tongue.

Szili said that more than 100 education facilities will be affected by the new law and highlighted that the right to education in the mother tongue is the most fundamental means for the preservation of one’s identity.

By signing an Association Agreement with the EU, Ukraine undertook to observe common values, in particular, in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the prime minister’s Special Appointee wrote.

She said that "Ukraine has violated the core principles laid down in the Association Agreement it concluded with the European Union, and with regard to this, the competent agencies of the EU must take the necessary measures vis-a-vis the Ukrainian leadership."