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Ukraine and Bulgaria have signed a Declaration on the implementation of the language clause of the law on education and guaranteeing the rights of the Bulgarian national minority.

The document was signed off by Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Liliya Hrynevych and her Bulgarian counterpart Krasimir Valchev, the press service of the Ukrainian education ministry reports.

The document provides that, along with learning the state language, representatives of Bulgarian national minority should have conditions for learning their native language and studying in their native language.

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The Declaration also provides that Ukraine and Bulgaria will work on a new protocol on cooperation and exchange between the education ministries for 2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years.

Read alsoHungary unhappy with Ukraine's plans to sanction dual nationality"We suggest that we gradually introduce more classes taught in the state language starting grade 5. The number of classes taught in Ukrainian will gradually increase grade by grade to reach a 60% share of classes in Ukrainian and 40% in those taught in the minority language," said Hrynevych.

She also said that Ukraine had already drafted a "road map" containing a list of legislative and other measures for the gradual implementation of the language clause in line with the relevant recommendations of the Venice Commission.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the new law on education, which entered into force on September 28, 2017, introduces a 12-year secondary education system in Ukraine with Ukrainian being used as the language of tuition.

Read alsoUkraine, Romania agree to seek compromise on education lawChildren representing national minorities can be taught in their mother tongue at classes (groups) along with the national language. Yet, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria expressed concern over the language provisions of Article 7 of the law.

The Venice Commission issued recommendations on December 8, 2017, that the Ukrainian authorities should balance the language provisions.

On February 14, 2018, government officials in Ukraine extended until 2023 the transition period for the introduction of the language provision of the education law.