On Sunday, the former head of state Traian Basescu labeled as “a big political mistake” the cancelation of the visit of the President Klaus Iohannis to Ukraine and the rejection of the Ukrainian Parliament Speaker’s visit to Bucharest, given that the new Education Law has not been promulgated yet.
“It’s only an opinion… Cancelling the visit of President Iohannis in Ukraine and rejecting the Ukrainian Parliament Speaker’s visit to Bucharest is a big political mistake, given that the new Education law has not been promulgated yet. At the limit, but discussions and negotiations could have been still held at the level of the two heads of state, and after bilateral talks, at the joint statement before the press, the Romanian President should have express there, in Kiev, the point of view supported in the discussions and the conclusions that were reached” Traian Basescu wrote on Facebook.
He said that such an action could have been a great success or a big failure, but Romanians from Ukraine would have known that the Romanian President defended them to the end.
“Unfortunately, by cancelling the visit, we left the battlefield miffed, before shooting the last bullet. I would have shot it, even if the chances of a success were small. Nothing is humiliating when you defense the interests of the Romanian people abroad. The cancellation of the visit would have been justified if the President of Ukraine would have promulgated immediately the new Education law” Basescu wrote.
President Iohannis: Cancelled my visit to Ukraine on account of education law being passed
President Iohannis communicated on Thursday that he has called off the visit he was supposed to pay in October to Ukraine, on account of the education law being passed, considering that this piece of legislation goes against the mutual good intentions and drastically limits the access of minorities to education in their native language.
“Consequently, upon finding out about this law, I have cancelled my visit to Ukraine and I have also called off the reception of Parliament’s Chairman, who had taken an appointment with me for late September, thus conveying extremely powerful diplomatic signals. Calling off a presidential visit is a very strong signal,” Iohannis said.
He highlighted that the education law adopted in Ukraine goes against mutual good intentions.
“Indeed an unpleasant topic this evolution in Ukraine with the education law. I had a visit scheduled for October this year to Ukraine, a visit that I have prepared in several stages with President Poroshenko. The last round of talks was at the NATO meeting in Brussels. I was very very unpleasantly surprised at the turn of events in Ukraine’s Parliament, that, without communicating to its partners, and we are Ukraine’s partners, has passed a law that in our opinion, runs counter to our mutual good intentions. As a matter of fact, this law, if passed, will drastically limit the access of minorities to education in their native language. We are deeply hurt by this. We have many Romanians in Ukraine,” the head of state affirmed.
Iohannis specified that he and the President of Ukraine were due to visit the Bucovina area, where many Ukrainian Romanians live.
“This law comes at the wrong time and the entire approach, as far as I am concerned, needs to be questioned,” the head of state added.
He mentioned that he has run across President Poroshenko in the NATO hallways and told him what he thinks of the visit cancellation.
“We obviously greeted each other and I briefed him on these issues. I told him point blank that I would not pay this visit until progress regarding this education law is made and that I am disagreeably surprised at this evolution, given that he had a very open approach, at least towards me, on the issue of Romanians in Ukraine. I have also communicated my approach through the diplomatic channels and here, directly to President Poroshenko. He walked away rather preoccupied and I hope we manage to have an approach that allows Romanians in Ukraine, in the long run, to carry on their education in the Romanian language,” Iohannis concluded.
Ukraine declares itself “disappointed” by the cancellation of the visit of President Iohannis
On Friday, Ukraine declared itself “disappointed” by the cancellation of the visit of the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, scheduled to take place in October, a cancellation that was decided as a protest against a reform that limits the courses in the languages of the national minorities in favor of the Ukrainian language, according to AFP.
The new Ukrainian Education Law introduces the 12-grade system and extends the use of the Ukrainian language in the field of education, so that Ukrainian will be the only language of teaching in high schools and faculties, while the education in the minorities’ languages will be available only in kindergartens and primary schools, namely the grades I-IV.
“We are disappointed by the Romania’s refusal to hold a dialogue between the leaders, and that statements for internal politics purposes are preferred” spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated for AFP.