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Moscow says Kiev’s new education law violates rights of Russian-speaking citizens

September 12, 11:19 UTC+3

The law stipulates that the children who will start schooling on September 1, 2018, will only have an opportunity to be taught in their mother tongue in primary school

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Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. A new law on education passed by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) violates the interests of millions of Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine and contradicts its Constitution and Kiev’s international obligations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Although the law makes no mention of the Russian language, it is obvious that the key objective of the current Ukrainian lawmakers is infringing on the rights of millions of Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine and the forcible establishment of a mono-ethnic language in a multi-national state," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that it sees "this move as an attempt by the ‘Maidan’ authorities to implement the full Ukrainization of the country’s education system, which is a direct contradiction to both its Constitution and Kiev’s international obligations in the humanitarian sphere."

It recalled that the law has sparked criticism from the Foreign Ministries of Hungary, Poland, Romania and Moldova’s president. "For our part, we are convinced of the demand for concerted effort, including in various international organizations to counter the policy pursued by Ukraine’s authorities trampling under foot internationally recognized human rights standards," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

On September 5, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed the law on education. Its new version stipulates that the children who will start schooling on September 1, 2018, will only have an opportunity to be taught in their mother tongue in primary school, that is, for the first four years. As of the fifth grade, all subjects should be taught in Ukrainian.

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