President of Ukraine and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko promised to learn the Hungarian language if necessary. He said this during the debates at the Olimpiysky stadium, for which his opponent, presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, did not appear, 112 Ukraine reports.
Poroshenko made a statement in response to a question from a Hungarian journalist about the next steps of Ukraine on the path to European integration. The president noted that he was confident in Hungary’s support and support of Ukraine’s aspirations to join the European Union.
"First of all, the implementation of our legislation, accession to the EU and NATO - I think this is an absolutely realistic roadmap. And I named a specific year (2023), when we must sign a membership action plan and when we must fulfill the criteria to apply for EU membership. And I’m absolutely convinced that Hungary together with other EU member states will support Ukraine just as it was promised many times a few years ago. We are open to compromises on the rights of the Hungarian minority, their right to education. They have absolutely all rights to learn Hungarian. As a guarantor of the Constitution and the rights of Ukrainian citizens, I also support the rights of Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin to study in Ukrainian schools, Ukrainian universities, work in Ukrainian companies. And you know that this is impossible if you do not know the Ukrainian language in Ukraine," the president stressed.
He has clarified that Ukraine is ready to invest for children of national minorities learning two languages, Ukrainian and native - in particular, Hungarian. Poroshenko expressed confidence that citizens of the European Union should know several languages.
The tense in the language issue as part of the Ukrainian-Hungarian diplomatic relations has been growing for more than a year.
Ukraine passed a law in September 2017 that banned teaching in minority languages beyond primary school level. Ukraine has sizeable Russian, Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian minorities that speak these languages.