The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary on May 16 issued a statement regarding the signing by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko of Law "On the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as a State Language".
Hungarian diplomats called the law "relevant to Petro Poroshenko's spirit," and expressed the hope that after President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky takes office, "problematic issues" Hungary believes exist regarding the Hungarian national minority in Ukraine could be resolved, Radio Liberty reports.
"We are interested in restoring balanced and friendly relations between Hungary and Ukraine, and we hope that the newly elected president will be open to this," the statement said.
The diplomats reiterated their claim voiced earlier that the language law "narrows the rights of national minorities because it takes away the earlier granted right to use their native language."
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on May 15 signed into law bill No. 5670-d on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the national language.
The law provides that citizens of Ukraine be in command of Ukrainian as the language of their citizenship. It is noted that the state shall organize Ukrainian language courses for adults and provide an opportunity for citizens of Ukraine to learn the national language free of charge if they had no such opportunity.
According to the law, a person seeking Ukrainian citizenship is obliged to pass a Ukrainian language test. However, individuals who perform military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and are given a state award and those whose citizenship of Ukraine is of state interest for the country have the right to acquire Ukrainian citizenship without taking the language test, but remain obliged to master it within one year from the date they were granted Ukraine's citizenship.
Earlier, commenting on the new legislation, the president said: "The law on the Ukrainian language does not mean that we want to 'put pressure' on any other language. This is definitely not the case. This law means we must protect our language. For it will be protected in no place in the world, except Ukraine," Poroshenko added.
The law is not applicable to the sphere of private communication and religious ceremonies.