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Ukrainian president signs bill limiting use of Russian language on TV, radio

The bill was passed by the parliament last month despite a heated public debate
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko
© AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

KIEV, June 7. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has signed into law a bill under which the country's national TV and radio stations must broadcast in Ukrainian for at least 75% of the time.

"Thanks to media representatives for a proposal to impose those quotas and bring the Ukrainian language back to the Ukrainian media. I have signed a bill about this," Poroshenko wrote in his Twitter on Tuesday.

The bill was passed last month despite a heated public debate, that involved experts, politicians, broadcasters and human rights activists. A total of 269 deputies of the country’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted in favor of the bill that required 226 laws to be passed.

The law stipulates that "the radio and television broadcasting companies broadcast in the state language, minority or regional language, and the language of international communications" but "shows of films in the Ukrainian language should make up no less than 50% for regional broadcasting companies and no less than 75% for pan-Ukrainian radio and TV channels." Experts say that the introduction of quotas will make the Ukrainian TV channels lose a significant part of their audience.

Ukraine’s Inter Media Group said it viewed the presidential bill to introduce language quotas for Ukrainian broadcasters as a discriminatory move that would put further strain on the already tense inter-ethnic relations.