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Analyst: Yanukovych looking for compromise on language issue

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Aug. 9, 2012, 2:30 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
© www.president.gov.ua

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has tried to relieve tension in society by ordering the creation of a working group on the drafting of proposals to the mechanism for the use of languages in Ukraine, Head of the Penta Center for Political Studies Volodymyr Fesenko has said.

"This action is aimed at relieving tension over the law and showing that the president understands the concerns about the language problem, and worries over the status and prospects of the Ukrainian language," the analyst said, while commenting to Interfax-Ukraine on the signing of the language law by the president and the order to set up a respective working group.

Fesenko added that he had predicted such a scenario a long time ago, because the president, from the standpoint of national interests, "wants the public not to be split on the language principle, but to be more or less consolidated."

"Another thing is that at present, during the election campaign, his party's interest requires the adoption of a law that foresees the strengthening of the status of the Russian language. So the president tried to find a compromise," the analyst said.

However, he did not rule out the submission of an appeal to the Constitutional Court, as a result of which the language law could be canceled by the court.

"Perhaps, the law will remain in the same form, but some amendments strengthening the public status of the Ukrainian language will be introduced," Fesenko said.

However, in his opinion, it does not mean that the language issue will leave the sphere of political struggle.

"I draw your attention to the fact that the election program of the Regions Party stipulates a desire to ensure the public status of the Russian language. So, I think it will not be an empty election promise. The subject of introducing amendments to the constitution will now become urgent. So we will face the debate about the status of the Russian language at the constitutional level. And, of course, this topic could also be relevant during the presidential election," the analyst said.

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