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Ukraine to follow international recommendations on its education law — top diplomat

December 10, 2017, 7:33 UTC+3 KIEV

At the same time, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament said the controversial Article 7 on languages of ethnic minorities will not be amended

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KIEV, December 10. /TASS/. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin vowed on Saturday that his country would follow the conclusions on its controversial education law made by the Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe.

"The Venice Commission is on the side of justice, and this is called "democracy through law." That’s why we turned to [the commission] and got the result. We will work with communities to put it into practice, period," Klimkin wrote in his Twitter.

At the same time, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament said the controversial Article 7 on languages of ethnic minorities will not be amended, and the decision was agreed with the Venice Commission representatives.

"It was agreed that the Article 7 of the Education Law will not be amended. It will remain in its adopted version," the parliamentary press service quoted Andrey Parubiy as saying.

The speaker also added that a working group was set up, whose efforts "helped to come to terms regarding a wording, which, on one hand, defends minority languages and on the other makes learning of the official state language mandatory for everyone."

On September 25, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a new law on education, heavily restricting the right of ethnic minorities to get education in their native languages. According to the law, starting from 2018, teaching in the languages of minorities will be possible only in primary school, while education in secondary schools, colleges and universities will be provided only in Ukrainian. From 2020, all subjects will be taught in Ukrainian starting from primary school.

The move drew criticism from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Moldova, Poland, Russia and other countries.

On December 8, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law, criticized the law and recommended Kiev to amend it in order to prevent discrimination of ethnic minorities.

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