UN SC session on Ukraine's language regulation blocked for political causes — International Ministry

MOSCOW, May 21./TASS/. The Russian side regrets that Western countries in the UN Security Council blocked for political reasons an emergency session on Ukraine’s law on the state language, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Tuesday.

“The aim of the initiative is to attract attention of the global community to the fact that this document is discriminatory towards the Russian-speaking population and the national minorities of Ukraine, it flagrantly violates the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements approved by the Security Council Resolution 2202 and is defying a number of international-legal and constitutional rules,” the ministry said.

Moscow draws attention to the fact that the language law was signed by outgoing President Pyotr Poroshenko against the background of statements from President-Elect Vladimir Zelensky about “the need to thoroughly analyze the document as to its compliance with provisions of the Constitution and the interests of all citizens of the country”.

“The enactment of this law will delay prospects for a peaceful settlement in Donbass and is fraught with a further deterioration of the situation in the east of Ukraine,” it said.

“It is regretful that Western members of the Security Council blocked the session for political reasons, refusing to give proper assessment of the actions of the Kiev authorities and once again demonstrating double standards in considering the developments in that country,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“We are closely following the development of the situation around the law. The document was being passed against the background of tough political confrontation inside Ukraine: in an emergency mode, with numerous procedural violations, with more than 2,000 amendments to the bill considered, and with attempts to cancel the decision of Verkhovna Rada to pass it”.

“The language issue was clearly used as an instrument in fight for the power by unscrupulous political activists. Although its initiators had to react to rejection and discontent in the society that the bill had triggered back at the state of discussion, and adjusted most odious passages, the discriminatory nature has stayed in place,” the ministry said.

Kiev refused to send “the Ukrainian law on the state language for an expertise by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe that had earlier voiced critical remarks towards the Law on Education and recommended to make amendments to it. However, Ukraine ignored them,” it added.

“We expect that the Western partners and international human rights institutions will give a clear and principled assessment of Kiev’s actions and will use their influence to protect the rights of the national minorities in Ukraine,” the ministry concluded.

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