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Ukrainian language bill unconstitutional, says Russian foreign ministry

The bill on protecting the Ukrainian language signifies the total “Ukrainization” of the country and contradicts its constitution, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated during Thursday’s briefing.

“In its essence, this is a law on forced and total Ukrainization. Its provisions include significant limitations, and in many cases a direct ban on the use of the Russian language and the languages of national minorities in various spheres of social life,” she said. According to Zakharova, many provisions of this bill are in a direct contradiction of various international legal norms, as well as the Constitution of Ukraine.

“It is clear even now that we are dealing with a decision that only exacerbates the split in the Ukrainian society and leads further from the prospects of regulating the current crisis in Ukraine,” she added.

The bill approved by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on April 25 stipulates that all citizens from now on will be obliged to use the Ukrainian language in all spheres of life. Special language inspectors will monitor compliance. They will be empowered to attend the meetings of any bodies of power, to demand documents from non-governmental organizations and political parties for examination and set fines.

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