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Ukrainian politician warns imposing TV language quotas may deepen rift in society

May 23, 17:06 UTC+3 KIEV

A politician comments on the bill requiring Ukraine’s TV channels and radio stations to broadcast at least 75% of their programs in the Ukrainian language

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

KIEV, May 23. /TASS/. The bill requiring Ukraine’s TV channels and radio stations to broadcast at least 75% of their programs in the Ukrainian language is aimed at deepening the rift in society, leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk said in a statement published on his website on Tuesday.

"One thing is obvious: the main reason for the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) to once again raise the language issue, very pressing for the country’s Russian-speaking citizens, is that the warmongers seek to deepen the rift in society and once again raise tensions," the statement reads. According to Medvedchuk, the bill is unconstitutional, while the quotas idea is absurd.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the bill in the second reading. It requires the country’s TV channels and radio stations to broadcast at least 75% of their programs in the Ukrainian language. The bill stipulates that TV and radio companies have the right to broadcast their programs in the state language, minority languages or internationally spoken languages. At the same time, TV and radio programs in the Ukrainian language should get at least 75% of the airtime.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said that he planned to sign the bill.

Experts say that the introduction of quotas will make the Ukrainian TV channels lose a significant part of their audience.

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