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KIEV, June 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine should not introduce two national languages, Deputy Prime Minister, Social Policies Minister Sergei Tigipko has said.
“We shall not agree to the introduction of two state languages,” he said during a working trip to Sevastopol on Friday.
He warned against splitting the country along language lines. In his opinion the Ukrainian leadership should do its utmost to ensure all people in the country who speak different languages should be able to develop their culture and feel themselves comfortably.
He also pointed to the impermissibility of self-isolation on the account of language.
“It would be wrong to separate, to self-isolate, to single out one language, even Ukrainian,” Tigipko said.
Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions insists a new version of the Constitution should contain a special clause on bilingualism, parliament member Vadim Kolesnichenko, Party of Regions, told the media several days ago.
“This clause will confirm the bilingualism of Ukraine’s population,” he said. “The Party of Regions insists on the legalization of bilingualism existing in Ukraine. We shall be pressing for a special provision in new constitution to the effect the country has two state languages – Russian and Ukrainian.”
On June 5 the Ukrainian parliament approved in the first reading a law enhancing the status of the Russian language in a number of regions of the country. The legislators decided to award to Russian the status of the regional language there where it is the mother tongue for at least ten percent of the population – in 13 of the 27 regions. Ukrainian will retain the status of the sole state language.