MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) – A Ukrainian bill that would see Russian dropped as an official language in a number of regions is a “blatant violation” of ethnic minorities’ rights, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday.
“The attack on the Russian language in Ukraine is a blatant violation of the rights of the ethnic minority. It is against the principle of the rule of law,” said Konstantin Dolgov, a human rights official at the Foreign Ministry.
The legislative proposal follows the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych over the weekend and has already aroused concerns that a surge of nationalism in the former Soviet nation could unfairly marginalize the substantial ethnic Russian community.
The bill, passed by the Ukrainian parliament on Sunday, repeals the 2012 law, under which Russian is recognized as a second official language in regions where at least 10 percent of the population is Russian-speaking. Just under half of Ukrainian regions meet that standard.