Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian foreign ministers sign joint letter on Ukraine's education law

Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva, Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto have sent their Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, Council of Europe's Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland and OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Lamberto Zannier a joint letter expressing "concern" and "deep regret" over the adoption by Ukraine's Supreme Rada of an education bill.

"This common approach takes into account the sustained interest of the signatory parties in ensuring the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and calls on Ukrainian officials to identify concrete measures / solutions in this respect, in the spirit of cooperation and strict compliance by Ukraine with the relevant international rules and standards in the area. The letter advocates the need for the use of all the tools at the disposal of the Council of Europe and the OSCE to ensure that the new restrictive provisions introduced by the Ukrainian Law on Education will not affect adequate protection of the fundamental rights of persons belonging to national minorities," reads a press statement released on Thursday by Romania's Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).

According to MAE, the protection of the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine has been permanently mentioned by Romania in its dialogue with Ukraine.

"Facilitating solving problems faced by persons belonging to national minorities is a commitment of the Romanian state. From this point of view, we consider that the observance of the right to education in Romanian language at all forms of education and the continuation of dialogue on this issue, including inside the Joint Romanian-Ukrainian Governmental Committee on the Protection of Persons Belonging to National Minorities, to be essential. Romania is reconfirming its willingness to support Ukraine in the broad process of legislative, institutional and economic reforms and to contribute to international assistance efforts in coordination with Romania's partners to effectively meet the needs of Ukraine." 

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