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
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.