Friday, 28 May 2010

Regions Party lawmaker slams Crimea's decision to use Russian as regional language

Regions Party MP Volodymyr Zubanov does not exclude the possibility that the prosecutor's office may appeal against Crimea's decision to use Russian as a regional language.

"I think that prosecutors will appeal against [this decision]," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday.

He recalled that in its decision, the Crimean parliament referred to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

"So if we rely on the language charter, then those in Crimea should learn and know Ukrainian and introduce it as an official language, and then defend, as they have decided, the Russian and Crimean Tatar languages... Therefore, if Crimea said 'A', then it needs to say 'B,' and know and introduce the Ukrainian language," Zubanov said.

He said that the European Charter foresaw that the protection of regional and minority languages should not affect the development of an official language.

Zubanov said that his strategy envisaged Ukrainian being a state language in the light of the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and stressed the need to define two languages of priority development.

He said that these could be languages of the six official languages of the United Nations. For example, for Ukraine it may be Russian and English, the MP said.

Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYT) member Pavlo Movchan, in turn, said that a signal from Crimea was quite alarming and could destabilize the situation in the autonomy.

He said that the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was designed to protect languages that are under the threat of extinction.

Movchan said that the Crimean parliament's decision was contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine and a Constitutional Court ruling.

As reported, on May 26, the Crimean parliament adopted a resolution implementing constitutional guarantees on the free use of Russian in Crimea and promoting the observance of Ukraine's commitments to implementing the standards of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The Crimean parliament ordered the measures foreseen by the charter on the use of Russian as a regional language be applied to the work of the Crimean Supreme Council.

No comments: