Interfax: Moscow accuses Kyiv of forced Ukrainization policy

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

MOSCOW. Oct 18 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on international human rights institutions to influence Kyiv over Ukraine’s discriminatory laws regarding the use of the state language in education and the media.

“We call on relevant international human rights institutions, including, primarily, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, to influence the authorities in Kyiv in order to protect millions of Ukrainian citizens from the violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms and from discrimination,” Anatoly Viktorov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for International Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights and the ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law, said in a statement.

“The current Kyiv authorities’ policy of forced Ukrainization is rapidly alienating Ukraine from pan-European values, violating the country’s international human rights obligations and openly fuelling radical nationalism in Ukraine,” Viktorov said.

“[The adopted law] obviously has a discriminatory nature and grossly violates the right of millions of Ukrainian citizens, primarily Russian-speaking ones, to education in their native language, and destroys the language balance existing in the country,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that this law “contradicts both the Constitution of Ukraine and its international obligations, particularly under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.”

Moscow will continue integrated efforts in international venues, including the UN, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE, to prevent “dangerous trends from gaining momentum as part of Ukraine’s nationalist policy,” Viktorov said.

“We remind you that the international community expects Kyiv to take urgent measures to bring its national legislation into compliance with the UN’s and the Council of Europe’s international treaties and standards in human rights, as well as OSCE obligations in this area,” he said.

In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that on October 13, a law introducing amendments to some Ukrainian laws on audiovisual (digital) media entered into effect in Ukraine. “This innovation of the Ukrainian authorities introduces a minimal quota of 75% for television broadcasting in the Ukrainian language on national channels from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., as well as a number of other artificial restrictive measures and tools, which show that the current Ukrainian authorities are continuing the assimilative policy that is splitting Ukraine’s already polarized society,” Viktorov said.