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Popov: No bilingualism in Kyiv

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Sept. 19, 2012, 5 p.m. | Kyiv — by Interfax-Ukraine

Head of Kyiv City State Administration Oleksandr Popov
© www.kievcity.gov.ua

There should be no discussions in Kyiv regarding giving the Russian language a regional status, Head of Kyiv City State Administration Oleksandr Popov has reported.

"Kyiv City State Administration will never raise the question of bilingualism in Kyiv at its level," he reported at the civil forum in Kyiv on Tuesday.

At the same time Popov noted that Kyiv City Council is authorized to adopt a decision on declaring Russian a regional language, and called on the participants of the forum to address the capital's deputies with a corresponding appeal on the language issue.

"I think that your authoritative opinion concerning this problem and official direction to the Kyiv Council is a pledge that nobody will ever raise this question and in the near future we'll balance our objective opinion about how Kyiv should live," administration's head said.

"Kyiv isn't just a political capital, and not just administrative center, it's also the cultural capital of Ukraine, and certainly [a place where] there can be discussion about the Ukrainian language," Popov said.

The second sitting of Kyiv Civil Forum took place at the Kyiv mayor's office on Tuesday, and involved representatives of 104 enterprises and 127 public organizations of Kyiv.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a bill on the state language policy initiated by the Regions Party on July 3. On Aug. 8, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed it, and the law came into force on August 10. It foresees a possibility of official bilingualism in regions where the number of speakers of national minority languages exceeds 10%.

Odesa regional and state councils, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Sevastopol, Dnipropetrovsk and Luhansk city councils, Chervony Promin town council (Luhansk region), Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk regional councils have already decided to accept the Russian language as a regional one. Moreover, the Crimean parliament charged on Oct. 10, 2012, to prepare and introduce a proposal on implementation of the language law for the consideration of the Crimean deputies.

The Hungarian language became a regional language in the town of Berehove (Zakarpattia), and Moldavian became a regional one in the village of Tarasivtsi in Chernivtsi region.

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