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Ukraine leader to ask court to ban local Russian-language status

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has asked prosecutors to legally challenge the decisions by local councils to make Russian a regional language, his press secretary said Friday.

KIEV, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has asked prosecutors to legally challenge the decisions by local councils to make Russian a regional language, his press secretary said Friday.

Earlier this year, authorities in eastern Ukrainian regions, including Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Luhansk, as well as in the Crimea, where ethnic Russians constitute a majority of the population, adopted resolutions to put the language on a par with Ukrainian in state and public institutions of their respective municipalities.

"[Viktor] Yushchenko has asked the Prosecutor General's Office to file lawsuits against local self-governments' resolutions granting regional status to the Russian language," Iryna Herashchenko told a news briefing.

She said the move was unconstitutional as language status issues lie beyond the scope of local councils' authority and are up to the national parliament to decide.

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