MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. It is important to enshrine the status of the Russian language in the country’s Constitution, State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said in a statement on Russian Language Day.
"The constitutional amendments that will be put to a nationwide vote on July 1 for the first time point out that Russian is the state language of the Russian Federation as the language of the state-forming nation, which is part of a multinational union of equal peoples," Volodin pointed out.
"It is a very important decision because in order to maintain unity, we need to preserve and develop the Russian language as our common treasure and an integral part of our cultural and spiritual heritage," the parliament speaker added.
Russian Language Day, established by the United Nations in 2010, is celebrated on June 6, which marks the birthday of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837).
While delivering his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly in January, Putin proposed a number of constitutional amendments to bring the Constitution in line with today's reality. On March 11, the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) passed the final reading of a presidential bill on amending the Constitution after it had been discussed by the Duma’s special working group. The bill was passed by the Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) on the same day and was later approved by all of Russia’s regional legislatures. Putin then signed an order setting April 22 as the date to hold a nationwide vote on constitutional amendments. However, the president said in a televised address to the nation on March 25 that the vote had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On June 1, Putin held a meeting with senior members of the Central Election Commission and the working group on constitutional amendments, supporting an idea to hold the vote on July 1.
The constitutional amendments will take effect only if approved in the nationwide vote.