Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

10/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2017 06:15

Comment by the Information and Press Department regarding the Moskovsky Komsomolets article titled ‘Poroshenko disgraces himself in Europe: Bad language can take you to Budapest’

In light of the Moskovsky Komsomolets article titled 'Poroshenko disgraces himself in Europe,' whose author claims that the Foreign Ministry of Russia has done nothing to protect the Russian language in Ukraine, we would like to say the following.

Russia has given much attention to this subject and has used all the available diplomatic tools in this area. On September 12, the Foreign Ministry issued a comment on the adoption of a new Law on Education by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This law stipulates stiff restrictions on the use of minority languages and envisages a transition to schooling only using the Ukrainian language by 2020. This subject was also thoroughly covered at the September 28 briefing by the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson. The same day, Russia's Permanent Representative to the OSCE addressed a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna to denounce Kiev's actions and urge respect for the rights of Ukrainian citizens (read his remarks on the Foreign Ministry's website).

Similar addresses were made to the OSCE Chairmanship (Austria), the OSCE Secretary General, the International Secretariat of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, to the General Secretary and the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as to the concerned UN agencies, namely the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and special rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council.

Over a period of the next few days, Russia's Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe made a detailed comment at the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers. Russian diplomats pointed out Kiev's violations of the provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages as well as several other key documents concerning human rights. We also raised the issue of the situation with Russian speakers following the adoption of the Law on Education in Ukraine at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in September.

The Ukrainian Law on Education is so outrageous that it has been sharply criticised by several European countries, which this law directly affects. Politicians in both Hungary and Romania addressed this subject several times publicly and at international venues, declaring their categorical rejection of this Ukrainian decision. We certainly welcome this approach.

We recommend journalists to be objective and impartial and to read Foreign Ministry comments as well as to request additional information, when necessary, from the Information and Press Department before publishing items on delicate international matters.