Yushchenko: Russian language doesn't meet Ukrainian interests

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Mar 20 13:22:57 UTC 2006

Russian language doesn't meet Ukrainian interests - Yushchenko

18.03.2006, 00.14

DONETSK, March 18 (Itar-Tass) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
thinks that the Russian language does not meet the interests of Ukraine.
The March 6 decision of the Kharkov city council, which gave the regional
status to the Russian language, does not meet the Ukrainian interests
either, he told a Friday press conference in Kharkov. The state language
policy of Ukraine has never been targeted for the suppression of another
language, Yushchenko said. He also said that he had never received
language complaints from citizens.

The Kharkov city council should have been more careful about the language
issue, Yushchenko said. I do not welcome such steps, although it is up to
court to give a legal assessment, he noted. More than a half of Ukrainian
citizens want the Russian and Ukrainian languages to be equal. The
overwhelming majority of respondents in a Ukrainian SMS referendum voted
for the Russian language. Nearly 315,000 people took part in the two-month
poll, said action organizers and members of the Party of Regions youth
organization. A total of 81.55% voted for the state status of the Russian
language, and 18.45% said the opposite.

The action organizers said that the state status of the Russian language
is truly a concern of Ukrainian citizens no matter what certain political
forces say. The organizers thanked everyone for taking part in the
referendum and said that they expect it to become an important step
towards the state status of Russian in Ukraine and help the legalization
of polls held through mobile phones.


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