11 Apr 2014 13:40

Ukraine PM says authorities against abolishing language law

DONETSK. April 11 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said that the country's new authorities have no plans to abolish the July 3, 2012 law that regulates Ukraine's language policy.

"No one is going to abolish the Kolesnychenko-Kyvalov law," Yatsenyuk said during a visit to the Donetsk region on Friday.

"It is a law that advocates the interests of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government's policy toward the language issue remains unchanged," he said.

On February 23, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada repealed the law on foundations of the state language policy of July 3, 2012. The law officially allowed bilingualism by granting languages other than Ukrainian regional status in areas where ethnic minorities account for more than 10% of the local population.

The repeal of this legislation sparked outrage in a number of Ukrainian regions.

Ukraine's acting president and Verkhovna Rada speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, said on March 3 that he would not endorse this decision. The following day, the country's parliament formed an interim commission in charge of drafting a new law that would regulate the development and use of languages in Ukraine.