The Kyiv Post welcomes feedback about our new website and we stand ready to fix any problems users might encounter in our test phase. Contact us at: or +38-044-591-3344. Thank you!

Share Tweet Pocket Add to Bookmarks
You're reading: Ukraine parliament to reconvene, language bill could become law

Ukraine's parliament will reconvene for an extra session on Monday, the chamber said, in a move which could lead to a contentious bill to make Russian the official language in parts of the former Soviet republic being signed into law.

President Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions rushed
the bill through parliament this month using a procedural trick,
in what opponents saw as an attempt to rally public support in
Russian-speaking regions ahead of an October parliamentary

But the move backfired as hundreds of protesters poured on
to the streets of Kiev and clashed with riot police.

Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn refused to sign the
bill, a step needed before Yanukovich could sign it into law.
The chamber then went into recess until September.

At the extra session, announced late on Thursday, the Party
of the Regions will have another opportunity to get Lytvyn to
sign the bill, or parliament – dominated by Yanukovich’s party
and their allies – could elect a new speaker.

Yanukovich has not said whether he would sign the bill into

While Ukrainian is the only state language, the bill would
make Russian an official regional language in predominantly
Russian-speaking areas in the industrialised east and southern
regions such as Crimea where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.

Activists, who say the bill is a ploy to win back voters in
areas alienated by the cash-strapped government’s economic
policies, have threatened to stage further protests if it
becomes law.

Knut Vollebaek, the head of minorities’ rights at the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, urged
Ukraine this week to seek compromise on the issue rather than
pass the bill in its current form.

Found a spelling error? Let us know – highlight it and press Ctrl + Enter.


Add comment

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.
More in this section

Add a picture
Choose file
Add a quote

Are you sure you want to delete your comment?


Are you sure you want to delete all user's comments?


Are you sure you want to unapprove user's comment?


Are you sure you want to move to spam user's comment?


Are you sure you want to move to trash user's comment?

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: