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Yanuckvich says language problem in Ukraine overly politicized

July 11, 2012, 21:13 UTC+3

Ukrainian President underlined the importance of keeping the Law on the Basic Principles of State Policy towards Languages

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KIEV, July 11 (Itar-Tass) — Rank-and-file citizens of Ukraine do not have any problems using either the Ukrainian or the Russian language but politicians keep fuelling incessant passions around the issue,Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said Wednesday as he spoke to reporters in the Crimea.

Heunderlined the importance of keeping the Law on the Basic Principles of State Policy towards Languages, which the national parliament adopted recently, in strict compliance with the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages.

For this purpose, the law should pass an additional expert scrutiny, Yanukovich said.

“The hallmark document in this sphere is the European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages and we expect the experts to tell us about the degree, to which our new law matches its provisions and standards,” he said.

Expert scrutiny of the law “will furnish us with an opportunity to devise a solution that will help lift the language problem in Ukraine for many long years ahead,” Yanukovich said.

July 3, the Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament endorsed a law on the foundations of the language policy in Ukraine, which envisions the granting a regional language status to Russian in thirteen of the country’s 27 regions.

The new law secures the status of the only state language for Ukrainian but it simultaneously expands the rights of ethnic minority languages. The document says that the language of an ethnic minority may enjoy a special status in the regions where the minority in question makes up ten and more percent of the population.

After the document goes into legal effect, Russian will get the status of a regional language in the Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Lugansk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Kherson, and Chernigov regions, in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, in the capital city of Kiev, and in the historical naval city of Sevastopol.

The Crimean Tatar language will get the regional status in the Crimea, Hungarian – in the Trans-Carpathian /sub-Carpathian/ region, and Romanian – in the Chernovtsi /Cernauti/ region.



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