Infringement of Rights of Russian Speakers in Ukraine

The Ukranian National Council's decision that within a year radio and television broadcasts in the Ukraine be entirely in Ukranian goes against the spirit of Russian-Ukranian humanitarian cooperation and international standards, the Russian Foreign Office said today. 'This step deprives many millions of Russians living in the Ukraine of their right to receive information in their own language, as well as many Ukranians whose native language is Russian.

Russia does, however, approve of the efforts of the Ukranian authorities to increase the presence of the Ukranian language and culture. In the opinion of representatives of the Russian foreign office, measures are being taken to 'satisfy language demands of Ukranians in the Russian Federation', in particular work for the current Year of Ukranians in Russia programme. To add to which, the Russian Foreign Office also noted, cooperation between ministers and powers of the two countries in information policy had been markedly improving over the last few months.

The Russian Foreign Office hopes that the Ukranian side will take into account its position.

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