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Ukrainian governemnt switches to Russian language for minister-foreigner's sake — media

December 05, 2014, 17:54 UTC+3 KIEV

Ukrainian Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili, being an ethnic Georgian, lacks Ukrainian language skills

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Ukrainian Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili

Ukrainian Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili

© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

KIEV, December 5. /TASS/. Ukrainian Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili forced Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to make Russian the working language at governmental meetings.

Yatsenyuk had to use all his language skills at the first government meeting, Ukrainian edition Glavcom reported on Friday.

The open part of the meeting was held in Ukrainian, but when the government passed to the closed part of its meeting Yatsenyuk had to speak different languages. At first he started speaking English and finally passed to Russian. Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili, an ethnic Georgian, who lacks Ukrainian language skills made the premier take this step, the daily reported.

The fact that the newly appointed health minister does not understand quite well his new boss was found only upon the end of the public part of the Cabinet meeting. Continuing the government meeting behind closed doors Yatsenyuk asked newly appointed ministers-foreigners whether all of them understand Ukrainian. Only two of them, namely Minister of Economic Development Aivaras Abromavicius, a Lithuanian citizen, and Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko, a US citizen of Ukrainian origin, gave a positive reply. Kvitashvili had some problems with the Ukrainian language. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk did not find it problematic and tried to shift to English, stirring up an uproar among Ukrainian ministers who do not understand English quite well. Finally, the premier had to hold a government meeting in Russian.

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