Russia expects the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine to keep a close eye on possible consequences of the enforcement of the language law in Ukraine, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
He drew attention of the OSCE Permanent Council that a law on ensuring the status of Ukrainian as the state language had come into force on July 16. “It is obvious that this discriminative act is geared to limit the use of the Russian language and language of national minorities rather than to ensure protection to and development of the Ukrainian language,” he said. “The norms of the law and its repressive instruments run counter to all of Ukraine’s liabilities under international law and its domestic legislation, including its constitution.”

“The Ukrainian mass media have already reported that school teachers in Kharkov, a large and mostly Russian-speaking city in eastern Ukraine, were notified about administrative fines for non-use of the Ukrainian language. In this context, we expect the SMM to keep a close eye on the situation around the language rights of Russian-speaking Ukrainians and national minorities, and on the consequences of the implementation of this law,” Lukashevich stressed.

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