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KIEV, August 9 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine’s Party of Regions said it "has protected people's inalienable right to their mother tongue" in a statement released on Thursday.
"We consistently fulfill the obligations we take. We promised to resolve the language problem which had been a stumbling block for years on the way towards the assertion of European values in Ukraine, and found an effective mechanism to resolve it in the law approved by Verkhovnaya Rada /parliament/ on July 3," the statement said.
Thanks to the new law, each citizen of Ukraine will be able to freely use his mother tongue in all the areas of public life.
The Party thanked its followers for the active support which enabled it to "defend the rights to the native language of the Russian-speaking population and all other ethnic groups in the country.
On Wednesday, President Viktor Yanukovich signed the law on the basic principles of the state language policy.
Under the law, the Ukrainian language retains the status of the only state language in the country, yet the document expands the language rights of ethnic monitories. The document envisions that in a region where an ethnic minority accounts for more than 10 percent of the population, its language is granted a special status. Specifically, the Russian language will have regional status in 13 of the country's 27 provinces.
The signing of law was hailed by participants in large rallies in Russian-speaking regions, such as Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Simferopol.