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President Iohannis calls off visit to Ukraine due to row over education law affecting Romanian communities

President Iohannis calls off visit to Ukraine due to row over education law affecting Romanian communities
President Iohannis announced on Thursday that he had cancelled the visit he planned to pay in October to Ukraine, due to the adoption of the education law by the Ukrainian Parliament, arguing the law drastically limits the access of minorities to education in their native language.

“Subsequently, 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 strong diplomatic signals. Calling off a presidential visit is a very strong signal,” Iohannis said.

He pointed out that the education law passed in Ukraine opposes mutual good intentions.

“I had a visit to Ukraine scheduled for October this year, 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 view, opposes 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,” President Iohannis stated, according to Agerpres.

He reavealed that he and his Ukrainian counterpart were supposed to visit the Bukovine region, where many Ukrainian Romanians live.

“This law comes at the wrong time and the entire approach needs to be questioned,” the head of state added.

The Romanian president said he had met President Poroshenko on the NATO hallways and told him what he considered cancelling the visit.

“We greeted each other and I briefed him on these issues. I told him that I would not pay this visit unless progress on this education law is made and that I am unpleasantly surprised at this evolution, considering that he had a very open approach so far, at least towards me, on the topic of the Romanians living 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.

Iohannis meets Romanians in Philadelphia, says Romania has “functional relation” with Trump administration

President Iohannis also met the members of the Romanian community in Philadelphia on Thursday, telling them our country has a “functional relation” with the Trump administration and that the American President highly appreciates the Romanian community living in the US.

Iohannis said that after his visit to Washington in the first part of this year the relation with the US has become extremely powerful, providing a new dimension to the US-Romanian strategic partnership.

Klaus Iohannis also revealed that Donald Trump had told him during their meeting that he highly appreciated the Romanian community in the United States.

He stated that the Romanian communities, along with the one in Philadelphia, are extremely important to him and to Romania. “You are important to us, you are vital to keep the connection with the country and I count on you and on the other Romanains in the US when it comes to the Strategic Partnership with the United States,” Iohannis said./IBNA

Source: romaniajournal.ro

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