MOSCOW, November 30. / TASS /. Mounting nationalism and the oppression of ethnic minorities can lead to the secession of a number of regions from Ukraine, said State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin on Saturday, commenting on attempts by the Ukrainian delegation to disrupt a speech by State Duma MP from Crimea Ruslan Balbek at the 12th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva.
"Nationalism and the oppression of ethnic minorities can lead to the withdrawal of a number of regions from Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities should understand this and prevent violations of the rights and freedoms of ethnic groups that live in the country," Volodin stressed.
According to him, "the behavior of the Ukrainian delegation and the attempt to disrupt the speech of the State Duma deputy, a representative of the Crimean Tatars, Ruslan Balbek, at the UN forum on national minorities is another example of intolerance by the Ukrainian authorities towards ethnic minorities.” “The new government of Kiev should start not from the position of insults and accusations, but from the position of rectifying mistakes," Volodin advised.
"Russians, Hungarians, and Poles in Ukraine are national minorities, and despite the fact that they are citizens of Ukraine, their rights are constantly violated," the State Duma chairperson continued. "Including their language rights, when Kiev passes legislation on the Ukrainian language as the only state tongue and introduces a ban on the use of national languages in educational institutions." At the same time, it is difficult to call 36% of Ukrainian citizens who consider Russian to be their native language as an ethnic minority, the politician noted.
In Volodin's opinion, the Ukrainian authorities should think about why in 2014 the vast majority - more than 96% of the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol: Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, Belarusians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis decided to join the Russian Federation. "We don’t have to bang on the table like Nikita Khrushchev’s heirs, showing disrespect for the UN international platform and the importance of the topic under discussion, and take the best practices from other countries," Volodin said. As an example, he recalled that after the reunification with Russia, in Crimea, three official languages were set: Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.
"Members of various peoples and nationalities are elected to the State Duma. We value this. This is our strength. Respect for all peoples of our country," the speaker concluded.