The OPPOSITION BLOC held a forum in Uzhhorod on “Languages of national minorities, religion, multiculturalism”. The Forum was attended by representatives of local authorities of Transcarpathia, eastern, central and southern regions of Ukraine, representatives of national minorities, experts, representatives of religious and cultural organizations.
One of the leaders of the OPPOSITION BLOC Oleksandr Vilkul addressed at the Forum. “Ukraine is a multinational and multicultural state. This is our strength, not weakness. In the ranks of the OPPOSITION BLOC, there are mayors and representatives of local self-government, deputies, social activists who represent all regions of our country. We will unite Ukraine, which has deliberately been divided for five years by issues of language, faith and history. To cover up unprofessionalism and theft, the power set people against each other. But we will stop it and give people a decent life,” he said.
“The OPPOSITION BLOC stands for the protection of the rights of all peoples inhabiting Ukraine. This concerns the rights to speak freely in their native language and get an education in it, to have the opportunity to practice their national confessions without restrictions,” Vilkul emphasized.
He noted that the consolidating idea is to create a rich and strong Ukraine, in which there is a place for everyone who considers himself a citizen of our country. For this, the OPPOSITION BLOC has a detailed program and draft laws developed.
“The country needs real decentralization, including cultural and humanitarian. This means that people in local referendums themselves will determine which holidays to celebrate, which monuments to put and in which language to teach children. At the same time, the Ukrainian language remains the state one,” he noted.
According to the mayor of Uzhhorod, Bohdan Andriiev, who is in the top ten list of OPPOSITION BLOC in elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Uzhhorod is an example of how many nationalities can live in the peace, work and enrich each other with their cultural traditions. “The city of Uzhhorod and the Transcarpathian region can be an example for the whole of Ukraine – like more than 100 nationalities of Transcarpathia can freely use their language and their cultural traditions,” Andriiev.
Speakers at the Forum noted the existence of the Transcarpathian region among those who really suffered from the nationalist policy of the outgoing power, when the humanitarian interests of Hungarians, Slovaks, Russians, Roma, were infringed on Ukrainians inhabiting this region.
First Deputy Head of the Regional Council, Deputy Head of the Transcarpathian Regional Organization “Party of Hungarians of Ukraine” Iosyp Borto noted that all citizens of Ukraine should have equal opportunities to receive education in their native language.
Recall, “education reform” with the actual prohibition to study in the native language, criticized, including by the Venice Commission, and the “language” Poroshenko-Parubiy law caused an aggravation of Ukraine-Hungary diplomatic relations.
“Real protection of the rights of national minorities will allow restoring friendly relations with neighboring countries,” Vilkul said.
Following the Forum, a resolution was adopted. In particular, it says that one of the priorities of the new parliament is the implementation of the OPPOSITION BLOC program, aimed at the abolition of discriminatory laws and reforms, the unification of the country and the protection of the rights of national minorities.
The key provision of the resolution is the paragraph on the need to restore peace and civil consent in Ukraine.