Svitlana Fabrykant, the authorized representative of the candidate for the President of Ukraine from the “OPPOSITION BLOC – Party of Peace and Development” Party Oleksandr Vilkul considers the “language” issue in Ukraine to be more “political” than a real problem.
“February 21 is the International Mother Language Day, proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Unfortunately, in Ukraine the language issue is now extremely politicized. The current policy on infringement of the rights of a large part of society in favor of nationalist ideology is nothing more than discrimination on the basis of language and disregard of the Constitution, the European Charter for Regional Languages and the Law on National Minorities by the current authorities,” Svitlana Fabrykant stated.
She noted that, unlike the radical course of the current authorities, the program of Oleksandr Vilkul “Peace and Development: Four Steps to Success” contains a balanced approach to solving the language issue, based on European experience.
“Everything is very simple: the state language is one – Ukrainian, and the regional councils have the right to introduce a second official language in the region if 10 % or more of the local population in the region uses a language other than the state language. This language has the right and should be applied here in all spheres of the life of society on an equal basis with the state. Such an approach is a manifestation of real decentralization and evidence of the autonomy of the regions in humanitarian policy,” the politician noted.
According to Svitlana Fabrykant, it is unacceptable to infringe upon the languages of national minorities. “The language on which mother spoke to us at the subconscious level is the most natural and close for us. More than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups live in Ukraine – 79 languages speakers. It is necessary to know and respect the state of the Ukrainian language! But at the same time, the rights of national minorities cannot be infringed upon. This can not be in a modern European state,” the authorized representative of the opposition candidate for the President of Ukraine stressed.
She also noted that there are more than twenty official languages in the EU, and another 60 are protected minority languages.“The radical language policy pursued by Poroshenko is discrimination of Ukrainians on the basis of language. In Europe, multilingualism is the norm and a kind of good form for a European. Here is an example to which the Ukrainians should strive,” Svitlana Fabrykant concluded.