Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Ukraine's proposal tantamount to taking steps to eliminate ethnic minorities using European Union funds is "unacceptable".
Minister Szijjártó told the United Nations Human Rights Council that a recent Ukrainian proposal had floated the idea of ethnic minority families receiving ca. 1,000 euros if their children are enrolled in Ukrainian-language schools rather than those offering education in their mother tongue. Minister Szijjártó insisted that Ukraine had been in “continuous and systematic” violation of the rights of national minorities since 2014, by adopting laws that made minority language education impossible. School-leaving exams will also be unavailable in minority languages, as will admission exams and vocational training, he said. School principals and teachers in minority language schools are being dismissed, he said. Regarding the recent proposal, Minister Szijjártó said Ukrainian authorities were preparing to take some of the billions of euros received from the EU as aid to run the country, and turn it against minorities. He called for the previously acquired rights of minorities to be reinstated.