12 December 2017
Moscow: 16:49
London: 13:49

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

27.11.2017

Response by the Press Secretary of the Embassy to a media question

Question: Could you comment on the “novelties” in the language policy in Ukraine and the position of the British authorities on this issue?

Press Secretary:Kiev is extending its discriminatory policies against ethnic minorities and large groups of the population, among them millions of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine. In recent years laws on cinematography, language quotas on the television as well as guest performances in Ukraine were passed. This September the law “On education” was adopted, imposing harsh restrictions on the use of minority languages with a view to their full erosion from the educational system by 2020.

This latest initiative by the authorities inKievis unprecedented and particularly dangerous. It violates Ukraine's Constitution and its international obligations in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms. A considerable part of the Ukrainian population are being deprived of the right to use their language, which is unimaginable for a modern democratic society.Kiev is therefore showing total disregard for those “European values” it pays regular lip service to.

Some of the latest Ukrainian allegations with regard to possible exemptions and immunities for “the EU languages” paint even a gloomier picture: they imply grading Ukrainian citizens into less and more worthy of getting education in their mother tongues. This means we are dealing with targeted cultural aggression against people representing a specific ethnic and cultural group.

Under these circumstances, what are the chances of national reconciliation and reunification ofUkraine? The offensive byKievagainst the Russian language is one of the main causes and breeding grounds for the conflict in the east ofUkraine. The latest discriminatory initiatives lead to a further alienation and escalation of tensions between ethnic and cultural groups within the Ukrainian society.

We believe lawmaking “abuses” of such a scope require international legal assessment and condemnation, first and foremost by the Council of Europe and the OSCE member states. Unfortunately, we still have not heard any relevant statements from the British officials, including at the international fora. We would be interested to learn about the views, which they otherwise readily share.

The reckless actions of the authorities inKievare a consequence of, inter alia, the British policy on Ukraine.Kiev wouldn't venture such a provocation without being reassured in automatic support by its “sponsors”, including London. In this sense, a part of the responsibility for the discriminatory legislation in Ukraine lies with the authorities.  




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