Simferopol – The head of the Crimean branch of the Regions Party, Crimean Prime Minister Anatoliy Mohyliov, has said he believes that Russian and Crimean Tatar could become regional languages in Crimea after the entry into force of the law on principles of state language policy, as at least 10% of locals speak these languages on the peninsula, the press service of the Crimean republican branch of the party reported on Wednesday.
Mohyliov announced this while commenting on the signing by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych of the language law, which was drafted by Regions Party MPs Serhiy Kivalov and Vadym Kolesnichenko.
He said that due to the adoption of the law, the exact amount and sources of funding for the initiatives outlined in the document would soon be determined in Crimea.
“The document has just been signed by the Ukrainian president, and the final calculations have not yet been made. Of course, the practical implementation of its provisions will require budgetary expenditures. Now we are analyzing these aspects. An extraordinary session of the Crimean Supreme Council will soon be held, and we will consider the issues of financing,” Mohyliov said.
However, he said that in this case, financial factors were important, but not decisive. More weighty is the readiness and ability of the authorities of the peninsula to protect the rights of all residents of Crimea to freely use their native language, he said.
“I think the law is very important and necessary in the aspect of the realization of the rights of the residents of the peninsula,” Mohyliov said.
He noted that according to sociologists, most residents of Crimea support the raising of the status of the Russian language on the peninsula. Therefore, in his opinion, the autonomy’s authorities must listen to the opinion of the territorial community.
“We will definitely find the necessary funds and implement the mechanisms envisaged in the law regarding the functioning of regional languages. We realize that while fulfilling the language law, we will protect the human rights of the vast majority of Crimean people. The factor of public safety and civil consolidation is more important for us than money,” Mohyliov said.
At the same time, he expressed confidence that raising the status of Russian and Crimean Tatar to the level of regional languages would in no way hinder the development in the autonomy of the Ukrainian or any other language.
“Ukrainian is and will be the official language,” he said.
As reported, on August 8, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed the law on the principles of state language policy and instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to form a working group for the development of proposals and improvement of the legislation on the use of language in Ukraine.
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.
The oppositional political forces claimed that the Verkhovna Rada passed the document with major violations of regulations.
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.
Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn refused to sign the law and submitted a letter of resignation. However, the Verkhovna Rada twice held votes of confidence in the speaker, and did not accept his resignation.
On July 31, Lytvyn signed the law on the principles of state language policy and sent it to the president for signature.