Kiev intentionally downgrades education level to curb out migration, says Russian expert

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. The Kiev authorities are intentionally downgrading the level of secondary education in the country to reduce the out migration, a leading expert from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Oleg Nemensky, said on Thursday in comments on Ukraine’s discriminatory law on education.

“The adopted law on education will drastically worsen the situation with the level of education in Ukraine,” said Nemensky, a senior officer at the Institute for Slavonic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“It envisages a slump in the level of secondary education, the number of compulsory subjects is more than halved and disciplines are merged which will certainly prevent Ukrainian school students from having sufficient level of knowledge to enter higher educational institutions of Europe or Russia,” he said.

The expert believes that such move by Kiev can be explained by attempts to keep the population inside the country and cut migration. He also stressed that the adopted law is aimed at “total ethnocide, depriving Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population of all cultural and ethnic rights,” which is advantageous for Kiev and also for Europe.

“The West is ready to put up with the violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking population as long as the process of de-russification continues,” he said. “In fact, the law on education will be implemented only with regard to the Russian-speaking regions, it won’t be put in practice with regard to the Hungarian population in the Trans-Carpathian region and the Romanian population of Bucovina. The European Union has already confirmed that it is ready to accept these conditions,” he said.

Although the law was met with indignation in Hungary, and “the Hungarian diplomacy will now be standing in every way in the way of any international initiatives by Ukraine towards its European integration, Nementsky believes Kiev will lose nothing from this. “No serious prospects of integration with Europe are discussed, Hungary will be blocking these process that are already stalled or have no prospects,” he said.

Reaction from Europe and Russia

On September 25, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a new law on education. According to the legislation, starting from 2018, instruction in the languages of ethnic minorities will remain only in elementary schools, while all educational instruction in secondary schools and in colleges and universities will be exclusively in Ukrainian.

Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Moldova have voiced concerns over the new law. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis canceled his visit to Ukraine scheduled for October. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Budapest would block any step in the EU that could lead to Ukraine advancing towards European integration.

Ukraine’s law on education undercuts legal norms of a multiethnic state and the international reaction to it should be tough and instantaneous, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told TASS on Tuesday.

“No doubt, this [law] is an outrageous act of disrespect for the reality of today’s world,” he said. “Apart from encroaching on Ukraine’s international obligations, it humiliates the people of many nationalities who live there.”

Kiev is conscientiously violating the foundations of a multiethnic state and whipping up neo-Nazi sentiments, Karasin continued.

Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, adopted a statement on Wednesday calling on the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and international parliamentary organizations of Europe to provide an unbiased assessment to Ukraine’s education law. On the same day, the State Duma lower house of parliament passed a statement on inadmissibility of violating the right of indigenous people and national minorities living in Ukraine to study in their native languages.

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