Hungary is initiating the installation of long-term OSCE observers in Transcarpathia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Vienna.

In his speech delivered at the plenary meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), the Minister highlighted: Hungary greatly appreciates the work done by the organisation’s observers in Ukraine. He pointed out that the organisation’s border monitoring mission operating on the Russian side of the Russian-Ukrainian border is led by a Hungarian diplomat.

He reiterated: Hungary was previously a committed supporter of Ukraine in a number of areas, but the education legislation passed in September which significantly curtails the rights of minorities to study in their mother tongues was a source of great disappointment. The law is utterly incompatible with Ukraine’s bilateral and international obligations, and they must therefore restore the rights of national minorities, he stated.

Mr Szijjártó pointed out: Hungary is concerned about the situation in Transcarpathia where some 150 thousand Hungarians live. Hungary is therefore initiating the installation of long-term OSCE observers in the region which cannot come up against any obstacle in light of the fact that the mission’s mandate extends to the entire territory of the country, he said. He added: Transcarpathia is a multi-ethnic territory, and the new education legislation does not promote peaceful cohabitation in the region.