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Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages to retain status of state languages

SIMFEROPOL, March 28, /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages will retain the status of state languages alongside the Russian language under the new constitution of the Republic of Crimea. “The draft constitution envisages that three languages will have the status of state languages - Russian, Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian. This norm will be preserved,” Grigory Ioffe, deputy chairman of the State Council and head of the Constitutional Commission, told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“These three languages used to have this status under the constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Until the new constitution is adopted, all the normative legal acts that do not contradict federal laws and the Russian Constitution remain valid,” he said.

Meanwhile, the document does not envisage quotas for the participation of Crimean Tatars in government bodies. The republic’s authorities suggested earlier a 20 percent quota for the Tatar minority. “That was the decision of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea [prior to the declaration of independence and reunification of Crimea with Russia]. There are no legal grounds for any quotas in Russia. Elections to government bodies in the Russian Federation are held on an equal basis, without any privileges for ethnic reasons,” Ioffe said.

The other day, on the first day of the work of the Constitutional Commission, Ioffe said that the draft new Constitution would be ready within a fortnight.