[lg policy] Kolesnichenko: Ukrainian society is not split over language law

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 27 15:10:55 UTC 2012

Kolesnichenko: Ukrainian society is not split over language law

The MP from the Party of Regions, the author of the draft law on the
principles of the national language policy Vadym Kolesnichenko said
that the Ukrainian society is not split over this law.

"The statements of individual political groups do not reflect the
general mood of society. This is an obvious fact. More than 1 million
signatures in support of the bill were collected in Ukraine within 10
days. We stopped collecting signatures because it was not necessary.
Also, we've already got the decision of 18 regional and city councils
in support of this bill," Kolesnichenko said during the meeting with
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek, ForUm
learned from the Party of Regions press service.

The MP said that the language law provides for Ukrainian as the only
state language of Ukraine. The national minorities are endowed with
the right to use the regional language along with the state language
only in places of their compact residence.

In turn, Vollebaek turned MP’s attention to the fact that the language
law requires special consideration and discussion.

Kolesnichenko emphasized: "We have been offering to initiate a broad
public dialogue to discuss the bill already for three months. But so
far not a single round table has taken place, not a single reasonable
claim has been made. There are just political slogans outside the
legal framework."

The parties also discussed the issue of the financial backing of the
language law. Its author informed the High Commissioner that the funds
needed to implement this law are a small sum, feasible for the state

"Also, given the fact that Europe is not sufficiently informed about
the real situation in Ukraine, we have prepared the English
translation of the periodic public report on the implementation of the
Charter of regional languages by Ukraine. We are to send the report to
all the experts, the members of the European Parliament and human
rights organizations," the MP from the party of Regions added.

Kolesnichenko said that he took the report of the OSCE High
Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek in Warsaw in 2009
at the international conference as the basis of the bill.


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