Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the Hungarian government has appealed to international institutions to ensure the protection of the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia.
“This is a burning issue as a recent Ukrainian law will in fact eliminate ethnic minority schools in that country,” Minister Szijjártó said. “We want to and we will protect the rights of ethnic Hungarian communities at all places in the world,” he added. Ukraine currently has 99 ethnic Hungarian primary and secondary schools, but under the new law they will become state schools as of September 1, “with some level of access” to Hungarian education, Minister Szijjártó said. From grade four on, the ratio of classes held in Hungarian could be gradually decreased to 40%, while entry and final exams as well as vocational training in Hungarian will be eliminated altogether, the document quoted Minister Szijjártó as saying. “Hungary stands by Ukraine… but we expect Ukraine to restore the rights of the ethnic Hungarian minority with regard to the use of their mother tongue,” he said, adding that “we do not ask for any rights to Transcarpathia Hungarians they did not have earlier”. “We want to restore the situation that had existed until 2015,” he added.