The EU Association Agreement stipulates that there can be no backtracking on minority rights in a partner state, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Tuesday morning on the public service television news channel M1.

Péter Szijjártó stressed in the context of the Ukrainian language law that due to the new legislation, minorities in Ukraine, including Hungarians, will find themselves worse off than they were during the Soviet era.

He reiterated that as the education law fundamentally violates the Association Agreement concluded by Ukraine and the European Union, he will initiate a review of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement at the meeting of Foreign Ministers to be held in Luxembourg next Monday.

He added: this is a sensitive issue as it also has economic implications, and in his view, Ukraine has been taken aback by the strong resistance that, among others, the Hungarian Government itself has manifested.

“I believe that what’s happening in Ukraine regarding this issue is nothing short of shameful and a disgrace, but it is equally shameful that the European Union and other European institutions have not made their voices heard and have not stated a clear opinion on the matter”, he added.

The Minister also said on the programme 180 minutes of Kossuth Rádió that it is shocking that the leaders of international organisations, too, remain silent as these institutions are on the payroll of the Member States of the EU.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)