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Language bill signed, passed to president for signature

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July 31, 2012, 4:41 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Volodymyr Lytvyn has signed the bill on principles of state language policy and the document has been sent to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for signature.
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Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn has signed the bill on principles of state language policy that expands the sphere of use of Russian language in the regions.

A posting on the Web site of the Ukrainian parliament reads that the document has been sent to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for signature.

As reported, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the bill on the principles of state language policy initiated by the Regions Party on July 3. The document significantly expands the sphere of use of Russian and languages of other national minorities in the regions where they are used by at least 10% of population. Members of the Regions Party parliamentary faction Vadym Kolesnichenko and Serhiy Kivalov are the authors of the bill.

The approval of the document by the parliament triggered a number of protests across the country. In particular, a hunger strike and a mass protest were staged near the Ukrainian House in Kyiv following the vote.

Lytvyn refused to sign the document and tendered his resignation, but the Verkhovna Rada rejected it.

The bill will take effect as soon as the president of Ukraine signs it into law. On July 7, Yanukovych instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to consider amendments to the language bill. The president also said that he would make a decision in the bill as soon as experts announce their conclusions on it.

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