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Ukrainian law should allow people to use native language, PM says

July 13, 2012, 22:33 UTC+3

At the same time, the prime minister promised to help develop and strengthen the Ukrainian language

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KIEV, July 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukrainian legislation should allow people to use their native language, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said.

“The root cause of the problem is in allowing all people in the country to live comfortably as they wish, without limiting their right to read books and watch films in the language that is their natural language of communication,” the prime minister said on his Facebook post on Friday, July 13.

“I hope that with time more and more people in Ukraine will share the opinion that priority should be given to the rights of people should and that all legislation should be based on this axiom,” he said.

Speaking about the language law passed by the parliament, Azarov said the authorities would take into account its criticism. “The approved law is being studied very carefully again with due regard to the criticism in mass medias after its adoption. When the review is over, we will be prepared to state our attitude towards these comments,” he said.

At the same time, the prime minister promised to help develop and strengthen the Ukrainian language.

On July 3, the parliament passed the law, which gives the status of regional to the Russian language in 13 of 27 Ukrainian regions.

The law keeps Ukrainian as the only official language in the country but broadens the rights of the languages of ethnic minorities. It says that in a region that is home to more than 10 percent of an ethnic minority, its language will have special status.

Ukraine has the world's largest Russian-language community. More than 8.2 million people consider themselves Russian, and almost 15 million people say Russian is their native language.

The law has not been signed by the parliament speaker and has not been handed over to the president.

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