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Hungary accuses Ukraine of "international smear campaign"

Peter Szijjarto rejected statements that Transcarpathian Hungarians snubbed a meeting on the education law.

Hungary accuses Ukraine of "international smear campaign"
​Peter Szijjarto
Photo: EPA/UPG

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has accused the Ukrainian authorities of launching an "international smear campaign" about the new law on education, according to the website of the Hungarian government.

He said that this campaign was aimed against Hungary and Transcarpathian Hungarians.

He rejected Ukraine's statements that representatives of the Hungarian minority refused to come and agree the new wording of the education law.

He said that the Hungarians had reasons not to go to Kyiv because "there were attempts to present it as a given fact that the new wording of the law, which is at variance with international regulations, had already been approved".

"Had Transcarpathian Hungarians attended this meeting, they would have effectively endorsed the education law, which violates international law and rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians and which the EU and the Venice Commission urged to review," he said.

Ukraine's new law on education, which in particular regulates the language of study, came into effect on 28 September. Hungary was particularly outraged by the provisions under which starting from the fifth year of study, all classes must be taught in Ukrainian.