Hungary is committed to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence and integration into the western organisations, including the European Union, four members of the Hungarian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said in a letter addressed to Lithuanian lawmakers.
Zsolt Németh (Fidesz), Rózsa Hoffmann (ChristDems), Attila Mesterházy (Socialists) and Márton Gyöngyösi (Jobbik) responded to a letter in which 37 Lithuanian deputies expressed “shock” over the Hungarian government’s statements about plans to thwart Ukraine’s aspiration towards NATO and the European Union if that country fails to amend parts of its recent education law that regulate education of minorities in their mother tongue.
The Lithuanian MPs said they are “well aware of the huge efforts” Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, are making to halt Ukraine’s European integration. They asked if Hungary was really prepared to pursue goals that comply with Putin’s goals in Ukraine.
The Hungarian MPs noted that Hungary had proven its commitment in crucial moments, for instance by guaranteeing reverse gas flows to Ukraine.
Article 7 of Ukraine’s education law, however, “diverts” the country from western integration for two reasons, they said.
Firstly, if public education in minority languages is restricted to kindergarten and primary school levels, a part of Ukrainian citizens are deprived of an acquired right, a move that is incompatible with “what makes the West West”, they said.
Secondly, in the “current period of conflicts” it would be important for Ukraine to make its citizens interested in its quest of independence. The article in question, however, is counter-productive as the minorities deprived of their language rights “get into a worse situation than they were in the Janukovic era and even during the Soviet times”, they added.
For this reason, Article 7 of the education law fails to pave the way for Ukraine’s European integration.
On the contrary, it serves the interests of those who oppose Ukraine’s western integration, the Hungarian lawmakers argued.