Meeting in Nyzhnye Soltovyno: ice has broken, but apprehension remains
Today's meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin and Hungary Peter Szijjarto, as well as the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Lilia Grinevich and the Minister of Human Resources of Hungary Miklos Kasler is, undoubtedly, already a positive sign of the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations. Yes, both sides are ready for dialogue, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin sees positive dynamics in the negotiations, but consultations will continue, the next meeting is scheduled for the beginning of July.
- I am grateful to our Hungarian friends for today's consultations, these were important and constructive consultations, - Pavlo Klimkin said. - We were able to discuss a lot of questions, including the details of the implementation of the new law on education. These consultations took place after the consultations that our Ministry of Education had already had with our Hungarian community, today we have agreed to continue such consultations, the following consultations will take place in early July, you see that we have a positive dynamics of this cooperation, and I have always stressed that we want our Hungarian community, our Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin to remain 100% Hungarians.
We do not want to make them less Hungarian, on the contrary, they should preserve and develop their national identity. It is very important for us, it is very important for our further movement towards the united Europe. But at the same time, we have to help them, to engage, to encourage everyone to have a sufficient level of knowledge of Ukrainian language, so that none of them feel discriminated against.
The Minister of Education of Ukraine Lilia Grinevich emphasized the need for further consultations with the Hungarian party, stressed the need to learn the state language along with the preservation of national identity.
- It is very important that we have started direct consultations today, we also have begun consultations with the Hungarian community, I would like to emphasize that one of the greatest interest for the Ministry of Education and Science is quality education for every child in Ukraine regardless of national origin.
Mrs. Grinevich noted that several issues were discussed at today's meeting. The first and the key one was the issue of the quality of teaching the Ukrainian language in schools with languages of national minorities. Given that the Ukrainian and Hungarian languages are very different in many parameters, lexical and grammatical, in particular, the government is already investing in the equipment for Ukrainian language classrooms, Ukrainian language textbooks, etc.
Another important aspect of the negotiations was the prolongation of the implementation period of the article.
The third important issue related to the law on general secondary education is the application of article 7 at schools with languages of national minorities.
As you know, on March 20, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto announced their intention to block the participation of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in the NATO Summit, which will take place in Brussels in July 2018. On this occasion, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto, said at the meeting:
- The decision of the Hungarian government is unequivocal: we can not support the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission until the recommendations of the Venice Commission are implemented. However, several weeks ago, I met with the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr Pompeo, in Washington, where I told him that we had no complaints about the meeting on the security in the Black Sea region with the participation of the presidents of Ukraine and Georgia to be held at the NATO summit in Brussels in July. We have no objections to it. Thus, your president will also be invited to this NATO event.
Peter Szijjarto also introduced the Minister of Human Resources of the new government Miklos Kasler.