ODESSA, October 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov has declared that his country’s authorities are in no mood to initiate revision of the law on the basic principles of the state language policy, which declared Russian as a regional language.
“This decision on language is strategic and it will not be revised,” Azarov said at a meeting with representatives of executive bodies of power and local self-governments in the Odessa Region.
“If some aspects of the law cause sound criticism, we may take a look at them again. But the people’s right to use the mother tongue is not liable to any revision. We shall be systematically pressing for the implementation of that law,” Azarov said.
The law on the basic principles of the state language policy took effect on August 10. The Russian language was declared regional there where it is spoken by at least ten percent of the population. According to the government, Russian enjoys the regional status in 13 of Ukraine’s 27 regions.
The law on languages has caused a mixed response inside Ukraine. The Opposition has held a number of protest actions to demand the law be canceled. President Viktor Yanukovich signed the law, but added that it required polishing.