Education minister goes to Kiev after the Ukrainian President promulgated new Education law affecting Romanian minorities

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Romanian Education minister Liviu Pop will go to Ukraine on Wednesday to meet the Ukrainian authorities after the Parliament in Kiev had passed the new Education law, which restricts the study of the national minorities’ languages, and the Ukrainian President had promulgated the law.

Officials with the Education ministry announced that minister Pop would meet the authorities in Kiev on Wednesday at 15:00h.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has promulgated the controversial law on Monday evening, yet pointing out the need that all ethnic communities’ rights must be observed.

The Ukrainian President has promulgated the Education Law, passed by the Supreme Rada on September 5. The law enables the reform of the education system in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Presidency says that the law improves the quality and the competitiveness of the young generation, with president Petro Poroshenko stating that it’s “one of the most important reforms” while enhancing the role of the Ukrainian language in the educational process.

However, the Presidency in Kiev stressed “the importance of strictly observing the rights of the minorities in Ukraine”.

“Ukraine has proved and continues to prove that it has an approach on the minorities’ rights which observes the international obligations and compatible with the European standards,” Poroshenko underlined.

He asked the Ukrainian Foreign and Education ministries to start consultations with the European partners and the representatives of the Council of Europe, on the education issue.

At the same time, the Ukraine’s ambassador in Bucharest, Oleksandr Bankov has said during a meeting with the Romanian MPs on Tuesday that enforcing the Education law in Ukraine would be gradual, adding that the Romanian schools will not be closed.

President Iohannis announced last Thursday that he had cancelled the visit he planned to pay in October to Ukraine, due to the adoption of the education law by the Ukrainian Parliament, arguing the law drastically limits the access of minorities to education in their native language.

“Subsequently, I have cancelled my visit to Ukraine and I have also called off the reception of Parliament’s Chairman, who had taken an appointment with me for late September, thus conveying extremely strong diplomatic signals. Calling off a presidential visit is a very strong signal,” Iohannis said.

He pointed out that the education law passed in Ukraine opposes mutual good intentions.

More details here.

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