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Ukraine changes controversial minority law

December 12th, 2023

A pro-government commentator welcomes the amendment as a first step towards normalizing the status of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine.

On Mandiner, Mátyás Kohán writes that ‘on paper’, Ukraine has done all Hungary asked for – short of an end to the harassment of ethnic Hungarians. The law passed last week allows teaching in the languages of European Union member countries and also lifts the ban on using those languages in public. ‘Better late than never’, Kohán remarks. He ascribes these positive changes to Hungary’s relentless opposition to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration until the rights of ethnic Hungarians are restored. He also mentions that the old restrictions remain in place for Russians, and thus, ‘Russia’s and Hungary’s interests do not coincide anymore’. He adds however that Hungary must remain vigilant and see whether the regular mistreatment of ethnic Hungarians (like removing old Hungarian symbols, appointing a non-Hungarian-speaking headmaster in the only Hungarian school of Mukachevo, and the harassment of Hungarian minority leaders by secret services) will cease.