Russian delegation to PACE to raise question of Ukraine's violation of rights of Russian-speaking population
MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) - At the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Russian delegation will raise the question of Ukraine's breach of the principles of the Council of Europe on Russian-speaking citizens, Russian State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said.
"The delegation will raise the question of Ukraine's breach of the basic principles of the Council of Europe as regards the situation of its Russian-speaking citizens," Tolstoy told reporters on Thursday.
"We believe that 20 million of our fellow countrymen have the right and should have the opportunity to study in Russian and to speak Russian," he said.
"No references, as the Ukrainian authorities have done, that there are EU languages and there is the Ukrainian language will be accepted in the Council of Europe," Tolstoy said.
The Russian delegation "is supported by a whole series of delegations who believe the law on education and some other statements that have recently been adopted in Ukraine are discriminatory against part of the country's population," he said.
"We are going to interact actively here [with the other delegations] and we hope this situation can be improved," Tolstoy said.
The winter session of PACE will open in Strasbourg on January 27. Tolstoy is leading the delegation of the Russian parliament.