The Government of Hungary expresses protest in the strongest possible terms against the new education legislation adopted by the Supreme Council of Ukraine on 5 September which deprives national minorities living in the country of the possibility of studying in their mother tongues, thereby jeopardising their survival in their native land in its very foundations.

The law – pursuant to which the language of education in secondary schools and in higher education is Ukrainian and education in the languages of minorities is only permitted in kindergartens and in the elementary grades – violates the rights of national minorities living in the country, including the community of some 150,000 Hungarians, to an unprecedented degree, and is completely contrary to Ukraine’s Constitution.

Ukraine agreed to respect fundamental human rights, freedoms and minority rights in the international conventions it is a party to as well as in the Hungarian-Ukrainian Treaty. Ukraine agreed to ensure at negotiations conducted at the highest level in the spirit of good Hungarian-Ukrainian neighbourly relations that the rights of the Hungarian community will not be curtailed in any way. The passage of the new education legislation is contrary to all earlier promises and undertakings.

The Government of Hungary stands up for the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia in every possible way. The Government of Hungary expects Ukraine to reconsider the entry into force of the legislation and to amend it in a way that ensures that the rights of the national minorities living in the country, including those of the Hungarian community, are not curtailed.