10 Jan 2023 13:35

Romanian president urges Zelensky to review law on minorities

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has urged Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to review the law on ethnic minorities adopted in Ukraine in December, some provisions of which drew Romania's criticism.

"Conveyed to President Zelensky Romania's concerns on the recently adopted Law on minorities and agreed to intensify the dialogue for finding solutions to ensure the highest standards of protection for the Romanian community in Ukraine, similar to the Ukrainian community in Romania," Ukrainian media quoted Iohannis as saying on his social account on January 4, following a phone call with Zelensky.

The Romanian presidential press service said Iohannis and Zelensky agreed that the foreign ministers of the two countries would have discussions in the near future to find bilateral solutions to relevant issues.

As reported earlier, Zelensky signed into law a bill dated December 29, 2022, which codifies a definition for "ethnic minorities (communities)" and stipulates rights, freedoms, and obligations of persons belonging to ethnic minorities, specifics of the government policy on upholding rights and freedoms of members of ethnic minorities, and the powers of the central executive body mandated to pursue the government policy in protecting the rights and freedoms of members of ethnic minorities.

Article 5 of the law, which deals with the rights, freedoms, and obligations of members of ethnic minorities (communities), guarantees civil, political, social, economic, cultural, and language rights and freedoms determined by the constitution to all Ukrainian citizens, regardless of their ethnic background or affiliation or non-affiliation with ethnic minorities (communities).

The Romanian Foreign Ministry earlier criticized the Ukrainian law, noting that the Verkhovna Rada adopted it without additional consultations with the Venice Commission and with members of the Romanian diaspora in Ukraine. In particular, Romania was frustrated by what it saw as a lack of clear regulations concerning the use of languages in the educational field and the use of languages of ethnic minorities in official documents.