Hungary will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a solution is found to the standoff around Ukraine’s education law which places restrictions on minorities studying in their mother tongue, a parliamentary official said on Saturday.
Zsolt Németh, Chairman of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told a news conference that Hungary had turned to a number of European Union bodies in connection with its complaint against Ukraine. Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, has sent a letter to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which could play a significant role in resolving the situation in Ukraine, he said. In addition, Németh said it had turned to Stella Kiriakidis, head of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and Thorbjorn Jagland, the body’s Secretary General, asking them to examine the situation.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Jagland in Gothenburg on Friday, and both officials discussed the matter. Both were in agreement to a large extent concerning their assessment, he added.
Further, at the initiative of Hungarian MPs, the President of the European Parliament has sent a letter to Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, making it clear that
the education law was contrary to Ukraine’s EU and international obligations.
They called on Ukraine to implement the Venice Commission’s forthcoming recommendations.
Németh also noted that several Hungarian localities in western Ukraine had experienced intimidating behaviour, and a local paramilitary organisation had gone about tearing down Hungarian flags. He said this kind of intimidation of minorities was unacceptable in a state governed by the rule of law, he added.
He noted that the Ukraine issue will be on the agenda of the Council of Europe’s standing committee next week, and the Venice Commission will publish its recommendations on Dec. 9.
The issue transcends minority rights and concerns whether Ukraine is turning its back on Europe and going back to the post-Soviet world, he said.