War is raging in Ukraine. Many are waiting for NATO to help, but Ukraine is not a member of NATO. According to one theory, Ukraine did not join NATO because it did not repeal an education law passed in the fall of 2017. Hungary, among others, protested against this law. This legislation also restricts the mother tongue education of Hungarians in Transcarpathia, in violation of fundamental human rights.
In September 2017, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, called the new Ukrainian education law shameful and disgraceful. Article 7 of the law states that the education of national minorities in their mother tongue is permitted only in the first four grades.
From the fifth grade onwards, students can study all subjects only in Ukrainian.
This prevents not only the learning of the Hungarian language but also its use, index.hu writes. The Hungarian government immediately stated that it considered the law unacceptable. Until Ukraine repeals this part of the law, Hungarian diplomacy will block all matters important to Ukraine.
Is Ukraine not a member of NATO because of Hungary?
In October 2017, Hungary vetoed a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. The Hungarian government justified the decision with the Ukrainian Education Act. This was a great blow to Ukraine, especially in the escalating Ukrainian-Russian conflict.
The Ukrainian government aims to promote the Ukrainian language by law.
According to the Hungarian government, this should have been achieved by raising the standard of education and not by restricting the use of minority languages.
At the end of 2018, Hungary vetoed Ukraine’s application to join NATO.
Szijjártó said in 2018 that “As long as Kyiv maintains its policy of undermining the rights of Hungarian minorities, we will not change our position or give in to diplomatic pressure.”
Exceptionally, this opinion is supported not only by the ruling party but also by several Hungarian parties. An azonnali.hu survey reveals that only Momentum considers the government’s anti-Ukrainian NATO block to be an overreaction. It cannot be said that Hungary’s veto spoiled Ukraine’s NATO membership, but it certainly worsened the country’s chances.
Source: index.hu, azonnali.hu