Hungary steps up pressure on Ukraine over new education law

By on October 10, 2017


Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Photo By Agencia de Noticias ANDES - PÉTER SZÍJJARTÓ, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Photo By Agencia de Noticias ANDES – PÉTER SZÍJJARTÓ, CC BY-SA 2.0)

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s foreign minister says he will ask the European Union to revise its association agreement with Ukraine, claiming its new language law limits the rights of minorities.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Tuesday that increasing international pressure is the only way to get Ukraine to change the law, affecting some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians and other minorities, including Russians, Romanians and Moldovans.

Ukraine says the law signed last month by President Petro Poroshenko strengthens Ukrainian language education while protecting minority rights.

Szijjarto, who met with Hungarian minority leaders and local authorities in western Ukraine on Monday, said the new law creates worse conditions for minorities in education than during the Soviet era.

Szijjarto said he will make his proposal next week at a meeting of EU foreign ministers.