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Comment by Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze
26 September 2017 21:52

I am deeply disappointed with unreasonably emotional and, in my opinion, short-sighted statement of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the ukrainian Law "On Education".

It’s a pity that partners express no desire to deal with real content and essence, as well as important details.

On this occasion, I want to underline few things.

The Law “On Education” does not limit the rights of national minorities to obtain education in their native language. They enjoy these rights in pre-school educational institutions, in elementary, as well as in the secondary school, while in the latest curriculum will include a conciderable list of subjects taught in national minoritie’s langauges. This envisages teaching Language and Literature of national minority (clause 6, paragraph 1, article 7 of the law); one or several subjects being taught in one of the EU languages (de facto, the language of national minority - clause 4, article 7 of the law). In math and science courses a special vocabulary in national minority’s language will be added to provide for mastering terminology. Additional provisions will also be integrated in the law on secondary education, which is being drafted now.

The Law does not violate our international commitments in accordance with the numerous conventions we have acceded to. I am sure that expertise of the Council of Europe, which we have initiated and are insisting on, will soon confirm this fact. It will put an end to external manipulation around this important issue of our internal policy.
Being a responsible, consistent partner and a multinational country, Ukraine guarantees the rights of its all national minorities throughout the years after the restoration of independence. 

At the same time, the situation when after graduating from the state school Ukrainian citizens can neither read nor write, nor even speak Ukrainian - is unacceptable. This is no longer about rights, this is about discrimination. Such graduates are deprived of the right to choose higher education, deprived of the opportunity to choose their own self-realization in a variety of areas, and therefore, - doomed to a marginal position in society.
We stand for integration of all minorities, and we are supporting protection of the rights of all communities at national level. Both processes are impossible without knowledge of the state language.

Most importantly, no one from outside - neither from the east nor from the west - will never be allowed to decide instead of us where do we want to integrate, where are we heading to. 

I want this message to be heard by everyone who believes that being under unprecedented information pressure, fighting against foreign military and economic aggression, transforming itself from a post-Soviet republic to an independent state, Ukraine will be subjected to outright blackmail.

Every day we are paying extremely high price for freedom to be ourselves and the right to determine our future. To abandon, to give up this right would be a crime not only against Ukraine’s future, but against the future of the whole world, which is called civilized.

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