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OSCE high commissioner: Ukrainian language law requires special attention and discussion

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July 26, 2012, 8:37 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

According to EU High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek language law requires special attention and discussion.
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A co-author of the law on principles of state language policy, Regions Party MP Vadym Kolesnichenko, has assured EU High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek that the law protects the right of national minorities to use their native language, the Regions Party's press service has reported. 

Kolesnichenko said at a meeting with the OSCE representative on Wednesday that Vollebaek's report presented at an international conference in 2009 had been taken as a basis for the language law.

"The main thing is that the countries supporting the development of minority languages are obliged to ensure their development not only in the places of the compact residence of these national groups, but also throughout the country in order to ensure the successful integration of these minorities into the overall political nation of the state," Kolesnichenko said.

He also said that there was no split in society on the language law.

"Statements by individual groups of politicians do not reflect the general mood in society. This is obvious. Over a million signatures have been collected in the country in ten days in support of this bill, and we stopped collecting signatures, because it was not necessary. We've already received the decisions of 18 regional and city councils in support of this bill," Kolesnichenko said.

He recalled that the language law guarantees that Ukrainian is the only state language in Ukraine and that it gives the right to use regional languages in the places of the compact residence of national minorities.

Vollebaek, in turn, said that the language law requires special attention and discussion. 

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