Azarov: No oppression of Ukrainian language, pressure on media in Ukraine

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Sept. 4, 2012, 5:27 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Premier Mykola Azarov met with a Ukrainian Russian-speaking writer, Andriy Kurkov, in Kyiv on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said that no one is oppressing the Ukrainian language in Ukraine.

"They often say that the Ukrainian language is allegedly oppressed in our country. I know the situation in the last 10 years very well, and can say for sure that when [President] Viktor Yanukovych headed the government, and today, when I am the prime minister, much more funds were and are spent on the development of the Ukrainian culture then in the time when nationalist governments ruled the country," he said at a meeting with a Ukrainian Russian-speaking writer, Andriy Kurkov, in Kyiv on Tuesday.

The premier mentioned that in 2012 the number of publications in Ukrainian grew by 166% year-on-year. He also said that the government allocates funding for the development of the Ukrainian movie industry.

"The statements that have been made recently due to the adoption of the language bill are distorted. People are either not informed, or are consciously distorting information," the premier said.

Azarov also said that there is no pressure on the media in the country.

"I would like to ask which of the Ukrainian newspapers support the government, and which of them are working for the authorities and promote them? I could take a hundred newspapers published in Ukraine and we'll discover that none of them writes good words about the government," he said.

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