Lawmaker: Regional status of Russian language in Ukraine legal

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed May 3 13:06:19 UTC 2006

Regional status of Russian language in Ukraine legal: lawmaker

02.05.2006, 20.52

MOSCOW, May 2 (Itar-Tass) -- The regional status of the Russian language
in the Kharkov, Lugansk and Sevastopol regions of Ukraine meets the
European standards, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs
and Relations with Compatriots Andrei Kokoshin said at a Tuesday
roundtable on Russia-Ukraine relations. The regional status of the Russian
language corresponds to the European Charter for Regional or Minority
Languages the Ukrainian parliament has ratified, he said. Russia is
closely watching the issue. The Russian language status in former Soviet
republics is a major humanitarian and political issue.

The recent pronouncements by Ukrainian officials on the Russian language
status fail to meet the international commitments of Ukraine, Kokoshin
said. Russia reaction to the statement by Ukrainian Vice-Premier for
Social and Humanitarian Issues Vyacheslav Kirilenko, who thinks that the
Lugansk and Sevastopol regional councils had no right to give the regional
status to the Russian language, may be rather negative. Ukrainian
executive authorities keep speaking of their adherence to European legal
norms, so this looks like a policy of double standards, Kokoshin said.

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