The Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) said it “took note with concern” of the new education law adopted by the Ukraine’s unicameral parliament Rada. The law stipulates that classes will take place only in the state language, News.ro reported.
MAE said that, according to the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, states commit to recognizing the right of any person belonging to a national minority to learn in their native language.
“The need to conform to international norms was permanently signaled by the Romanian party in the dialogue with the Ukrainian party on the topic of promoting and protecting the rights of the people belonging to the Romanian national minority in Ukraine. […] We express our expectation that the right of the people belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine are preserved and we underline the constant preoccupation of Romanian authorities on this issue,” MAE said.
The ministry also said the topic of the instruction carried in the native language will be a priority on the agenda of state secretary Victor Micula, who will be in Kiev next week.
The new education law in the country entails the gradual introduction of the new system, and the replacement of teaching in Romanian with that in Ukrainian, according to BucPress.ru, quoted by News.ro. The first phase of the reform is set to start in September 2018. Teaching in Romania will be kept only for the primary schools, in grades 1 to 4.
Over 400,000 Romanian ethnics live in Ukraine, according to MAE data quoted by TVR Moldova.
Hungary also expressed concerns on the issue, Kyiv Post reported.
Meanwhile, Hungary said it decided to withdraw its support for Romania’s admission to various international organizations, including the OECD, claiming that the Romanian authorities had decided to suspend the classes of the Roman Catholic Theological High School in Targu Mures.