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MOSCOW, November 4 (Itar-Tass) —— United Russia will support the initiative of the recognition of Russian as an official language in the European Union, the party’s presidium deputy secretary Yuri Shuvalov said at a joint meeting of United Russia and the Congress of Russian Communities in Moscow on Friday.
Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin put forward the initiative at the meeting.
He thinks that the Congress of Russian Communities, United Russia and other public organizations may pool their efforts for the achievement of this goal. The EU rule, which says that one million signatures of EU citizens must be collected for putting an item on the agenda of the European Parliament, will enter into force on April 1, 2012. Several millions of Russians live in EU member countries, and they will gladly support the project, Rogozin said.
He also thinks that the recognition of Russian as an official language in the EU would build up Russia’s prestige and help solve problems of compatriots in the Baltic republics.
Efforts should be taken for the recognition of Russian as an official language in the European Union, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Interaction with Compatriots Alexander Chepurin said upon the world compatriots conference in the middle of October.
“We are interested in the further promotion and legalization of the status of the Russian language in the countries of residence of our compatriots,” the diplomat said. “It is also necessary to take efforts for the recognition of Russian as an official language in the European Union.”
“That will require the formation of an initiative group and the collection of one million signatures,” Chepurin said. He hopes that the Sochi Winter Olympic Games 2014 will play a role in the promotion of the Russian language.
The conference delegates discussed assistance to the Fund for Support and Protection of Rights of Compatriots, which will start working on January 1, 2012, at the initiative of President Dmitry Medvedev.
“A presentation of the fund will be prepared within 1.5 months to spell out main principles of its activity,” Chepurin said. “The main task of the new body is to elaborate mechanisms of support to the Russian language.”