RUSSIAN LANGUAGE SUFFERS IN UKRAINE, CHERNOMYRDIN

Paolo Gambi, Rinascimento poetico

RUSSIAN LANGUAGE SUFFERS IN UKRAINE, CHERNOMYRDIN

MOSCOW, MAY 27 (REUTER) – RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN, JUST A DAY BEFORE A VISIT TO UKRAINE, ACCUSED KIEV OF DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IN THE EX-SOVIET STATE, ITAR-TASS NEWS AGENCY SAID.
"WE ARE WORRIED BY UKRAINE’S INCREASINGLY DISTINCTIVE POLICY OF LIMITING, IN FACT SQUEEZING OUT RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE FROM THE STATE AND INTELLECTUAL LIFE," TASS QUOTED CHERNOMYRDIN AS TELLING REPORTERS.
CHERNOMYRDIN IS DUE TO SPEND A DAY IN KIEV ON WEDNESDAY TO PREPARE A LONG-DELAYED VISIT BY RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN TO THE UKRAINIAN CAPITAL ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.
HE HAS SAID HE HOPED THE VISITS WOULD HELP TO PUT AN END TO PAINFUL DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE TWO SLAV STATES WHERE THE SHAREOUT OF THE DISPUTED BLACK SEA FLEET AND CONDITIONS OF BILATERAL TRADE ARE THE MAIN BONES OF CONTENTION.
LANGUAGE FOR THE 12 MILLION ETHNIC RUSSIANS IN THE REPUBLIC OF 51 MILLION HAS BEEN AN ISSUE FOR NATIONALIST RUSSIAN MEDIA BUT IT HAS NEVER TOPPED THE TWO STATES’ LIST OF TROUBLES.
"OUR COMPATRIOTS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE ARBITRARY RULE OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES WHEN IT COMES TO EXERCISING THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS," CHERNOMYRDIN SAID IN REFERENCE TO UKRAINE’S ETHNIC RUSSIANS.
"THE ETHNIC RUSSIAN POPULATION IN UKRAINE OFTEN CANNOT ENJOY IN FULL ITS LEGITIMATE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS," HE ADDED.
UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS HAVE REJECTED ANY SUGGESTIONS THAT THEY HAVE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST RUSSIAN CULTURE OR LANGUAGE AND COUNTER THAT THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE WAS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN SOVIET TIMES.
27.05.97

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