Telephone conversation between President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis and President of Ukraine, Mr. Petro Poroşenko

18 October 2017

President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, on Wednesday, 18 October 2017, held a telephone conversation with President of Ukraine, Mr. Petro Poroşenko, on the latter’s request. The main topic discusses was the Education Law recently enacted in Ukraine. 

The President of Romania firmly expressed his dissatisfaction for the passing of the Law, which generates negative effects on the right to mother tongue education for the minorities living in Ukraine, including the Romanian one. President Klaus Iohannis illustrated that prior to this approach, a rigorous consultation should have been held with representatives of the national minorities living in Ukraine and with the bordering states to which they are related to. 

Additionally, the President of Romania reiterated the position of the Romanian side regarding the fact that Article 7 of the Law, as it is phrased now, significantly diminishes the rights of the persons belonging to the Romanian minority as regards ensuring mother tongue education. 

President Klaus Iohannis requested President Petro Poroşenko that Ukraine observe the constantly assumed commitements for the Romanian side with regard to complying with international norms and standards relevant to the realm of protecting the rights of the persons belonging to national minorities. The President of Romania drew attention that, at the same time, it is important that the level and quality of education in the Romanian language should not be altered by the new norms and highlighted that learning the official language of the state they are living in should not be detrimental to the minorities’ mother tongue. 

President Klaus Iohannis used this opportunity to reiterate Romania’s consistent support for Ukraine’s European course and for its territorial integrity.

The President of Ukraine specified that he fully comprehends the concerns of the Romanian side and conveyed the Ukrainean authorities’ firm commitment to find a solution for the disadvantages generated by the enacting of the law, so that the rights of the people belonging to the Romanian minority to be educated in their mother tongue should not be altered. The Ukrainean President also assured that the Venice Commission’s Opinion regarding the Education Law, which has recently been requested by the Ukrainean side, should be observed.

In this context, President Petro Poroşenko reiterated his invitation to President Klaus Iohannis to visit Ukraine. The President of Romania underlined that this visit, which was scheduled for October and was postponed due to the situation generated by the Education Law being passed, would take place after the drawbacks issued by the above-mentioned normative act had been resolved.