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 Crimeans Demand to Make Ukrainian a Regional Language

Nine Crimean social organizations have appealed to the speaker and prime-minister of the autonomous republic Vladimir Konstantinov and Anatoliy Mogilev calling on them to name the Ukrainian language regional on the peninsula equal to Russian and Crimean-Tatar.

Among the organizations that signed the appeal are: Crimean Department of Prosvita PanUkrainian Society, Ukrainian Dom organization, Ukraine-World PanCrimean society and Committee on Monitoring Freedom of Press in Crimea, reports BBC Ukraine.

"We demand to make provisions in the republican budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea the funds for the development, equally to other regional languages of Crimea, of the Ukrainian language, culture and education", the statement reads.

One of the authors, chairman of Ukrainian Dom organization Andrey Schekun explained that Ukrainian population of the Autonomy considers itself "a minority within a minority" and that is why "it is under protection of the current national and international legislation on the rights of national minorities".

"Ukrainians constitute 24% of the population and that is why we have the right for 24% of Ukrainian schools and kindergartens, 24% of the language budget for the development of the Ukrainian language. But now we don't even have 1%", said Schelkun.


Vice-speaker of Crimean Parliament Grigoriy Ioffe thinks that this appeal by pro Ukrainian organizations is their idea of showing wit and cause some political noise.

"I did not see this appeal even though I check my mail every day. But even if it exists I would advise these people to carefully read the law on language policy that was passed. It clearly states that Ukrainian is the only national language and does not require any other status", said Ioffe.

Moreover, the vice-speaker noted that in Crimea the programs of development of Ukrainian language and culture are financed in full volume and the parliament of republic adopted several decrees which further promote it. In particular, the budget allocates around one million hryvnias (around 120 thousand USD) for the financing of Pan Ukrainian Cultural and Information Center in Simferopol. The Prosvita organization is also financed.

 
 
 
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