Ukraine's law on language does not take into account minorities' needs, - OSCE

Source : 112 Ukraine

The law provides for a system of punishment and does not take into account the views of national minorities
11:39, 29 July 2019


The OSCE stated that the law of Ukraine on the Ukrainian language, signed by then-president Poroshenko on May 15, was adopted without taking into account the opinion of national minorities. Moreover, it sets a system of punishments, which is a rather tough approach to the implementation of language policy. OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier said this in his interview with Izvestia.

Zannier listed the drawbacks in the law.

“Firstly, the law says nothing about the protection of national minorities’ languages. Secondly, all issues about the use of the state language are solved in quite a tough manner - not through a system of encouragements that the OSCE would like to see, but through punishment. Thirdly, the law was adopted without any consultations with representatives of national minorities,” the OSCE Commissioner noted.

At the same time, he stressed that Kyiv has the right to speak of the Ukrainian language as a state language.

According to Zannier, the OSCE is working with the Ministry of Culture on some changes that should appear in the document and be taken into account, including the role of Russian language.

Related: UN Security Council to hold sitting on Ukrainian language

Zannier claimed there was a need to create a “mechanism of systematic interaction,” allowing to take into account concerns of national minorities.

“I plan to go to Ukraine soon. Everything has changed there now - political atmosphere, administration, the president,” the OSCE Commissioner noted.

As it was reported earlier, the OSCE announced the presence of the militants' new weapons near the residential buildings of the Chyhari and Pikuzy settlements in the Donetsk region. It is reported that Russia-backed separatists place heavy weapons near the homes of civilians in Donbas.

Related: Ukrainian language law comes into force

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