- Ukrainian opposition protests utility hikes in parliament
- Ukrainian opposition lawmakers walk out of parliament
- Tymoshenko vows to continue 'purge' of Ukrainian opposition ranks
- Ukrainian opposition wants to destabilize country - Azarov
- Ukrainian opposition leader wants to challenge new law on local elections in court
The Ukrainian opposition has called on parliament not to consider a controversial language bill that would lift restrictions on the use of Russian and other languages in the multilingual country.
"Let us leave this issue aside for a while," Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc deputy Volodymyr Yavoryvsky said. "This bill was already causing public dispute in its discussion stages."
Under the bill, Ukrainian would remain the only state language and restrictions would be lifted on the use of other languages spoken in the country, including Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian, granting them official regional status.
The opposition says the bill would put the country's sovereignty at risk and deepen Kiev's historic dependence on Moscow.
If adopted, the bill would split the country in two, opposition deputy Vyacheslav Kyrylenko said on Sunday.
Communist party leader Petro Symonenko, one of the authors of the bill, called for it to be passed as soon as possible.
"We can't get away from the existence of the language problem in the Ukrainian society. It needs to be solved," he said.
The public and political debate over the bill is exacerbated by the fact that many of the country's top politicians, including Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, cannot actually speak Ukrainian, while President Viktor Yanukovych is himself a novice speaker.
Yanukovych, who came to power on the back of strong Russian support in February, has promised to make Russian a second state language. He looks set to get parliament to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages before his time in office is out. Ukraine is already a signatory to the charter.
Russian is still used in much of Ukraine, especially in the east, the Crimea and the capital Kiev, and there is a strong movement to protect the rights of Russian speakers.
KIEV, September 20 (RIA Novosti)
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.