Ukrainian Pres condemns a new initiative on Russian language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Fri Sep 7 13:28:54 UTC 2007

 Ukrainian Pres condemns a new initiative on Russian language

06.09.2007, 21.48

KIEV, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
has dismissed an initiative of the Regions Party led by Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovich to hold a referendum on the status of the Russian
language in Ukraine. "To call a referendum of this kind would mean to
violate the existing regulations for amending the Constitution of
Ukraine," Yushchenko told reporters. "It is regrettable that the Prime
Minister is conducting a policy of this kind."  "These issues require
more detailed consideration," he said.

Thursday, the Regions Party launched a campaign to gather signatures
under a petition for holding the referendum where the voters will be
asked to express their stance on a proposal to make Russian the second
state language in this country and on the possibility of the country's
participation in military and political blocs and alliances.
The organizers also plan to include in the ballots a question about
the possibility of direct election of regional governors and heads of
district administrations.

Boris Kolesnikov, the chief of the Regions Party's election staff said
polls show that 45% Ukrainians speak in favor of making Russian the
second state language and 60% oppose the idea of Ukraine's engagement
in whatever military blocs or alliances.
September 30, Ukrainians will go to the polls in an early
parliamentary election. The two major political forces, the blocs
supporting President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovich, will
take part in the election.

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