Tag Archives: Petro Poroshenko

Poroshenko signs law criminalizing multilingualism

The incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko has signed the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian as the state language. The signing ceremony was broadcast by all central Ukrainian TV channels.

Poroshenko  said he had the “greatest honor and a unique opportunity to sign the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language,” adding the signature “is one of the most important acts for the formation of Ukrainian statehood” since the language is the platform and foundation on which the state is being built.

I emphasize that this law does not affect the languages of national minorities living in Ukraine,” Poroshenko said. “…The only thought we did not intend to take into account was Moscow’s opinion. Let them do with Russian”  he added.

“Very few issues are as fundamental to a person’s identity as their native language. Challenging this may provoke a defensive response. History teaches us that any such attempts often end badlywarned Lamberto Zannier, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE.

Although Ukraine is officially aiming the European Union integration de facto Poroshehnko opposed the European values, namely the linguistic rights of the minorities. At present 23 official and 60 regional languages are practiced on the EU territory.

In Europe, linguistic diversity is a fact of life. Languages are an integral part of European identity and the most direct expression of culture. In an EU founded on the motto ‘United in diversity’, the ability to communicate in several languages is an important asset for individuals, organisations and companies. Languages not only play a key role in the everyday life of the European Union, but are also fundamental for respecting cultural and linguistic diversity in the EU” the European Commission explains.

In Ukraine the case of attempts to introduce bilingualism or multilingualism, or to grant official status to any other language in the whole country or in a separate region, this equates to overthrowing the constitutional order. You can get up to 10 years in prison for this in accordance with section 109 of the Penal Code.

Here is the list of ten top changes language law imposes on the citizens of Ukraine:

1. The only state and official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. Public disrespect and ignoring the law is equated with the abuse of state symbols: from a fine of up to 6.800 hryvnia up to imprisonment up to 3 years.

2. All the representatives of the central executive bodies of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, deputies, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, notaries, medical workers, and teachers must have proficiency of the Ukrainian language. All meetings, events, working communication in government bodies, including Crimea, in state and municipal events should be held in Ukrainian. If the event organizers deems it necessary to apply another language, they must ensure it “provides a translation into the state language”.

3. Language requirements for members of the government, high-ranking officials, and people’s deputies will be determined by the National Commission for Standards of the State Language, and the Ukrainian Language Center will test them for compliance. In addition to these two new institutions, the Terminology Center of the Ukrainian language will be created. One of its tasks is the “development of the standards of the Ukrainian sign language.”

4. In public kindergartens, the language of instruction is Ukrainian, in private there may be other options, however Ukrainian language should be present. As for universities, the teaching should be conducted in Ukrainian, but lectures in one of the EU languages ​​are allowed. That is, Chinese and Yiddish, as follows from the text, are banned on a par with Russian.

5. In theaters, cinemas should sound the Ukrainian language. Performances and films in a foreign language must be accompanied by subtitles. “Cinemas can show foreign films in the original language, accompanying the subtitling in Ukrainian. The total number of showcases of such films cannot exceed 10% of the total number of showcases of films in a cinema a month,” the bill said.

6. Mass media is also switching to the Ukrainian language. If, say, your favorite newspapers or magazines were printed in Russian, then after the law came into force, they should have half the circulation of the Ukrainian version. The total duration of foreign language television and radio programs and broadcasts may not exceed 10% of the daily broadcasting time for national broadcasters, and 20% for regional and local broadcasters.

7. In bookstores should be on the shelves at least 50% of the products in the Ukrainian language.

8. A language ombudsman  is becoming  a leading authority for complaints. The language inspector will get rights akin to a police officer. He will be able to request documents or their copies and other information, including those with limited access, to freely visit state authorities, enterprises and institutions regardless of their form of ownership, attend their meetings, receive documents or their copies and other information from civil associations upon request, political parties, legal entities of private law.

9. The draft law also provides for the creation of an institution of language inspectors, who will observe the purity of speech in their region. It is assumed that there should be 27 language inspectors.

10. All who wish to obtain Ukrainian citizenship must pass the exam on the knowledge of the Ukrainian language.

 

Poroshenko visits NATO HQ

The NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, will meet the incumbent President of Ukraine, H.E. Mr. Petro Poroshenko, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.”There will be no media opportunity” the spokesperson informs via Twitter micro blog.

At present, leading areas of cooperation focus on counter-terrorism, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, the development of advanced technologies, and the detection and clearance of unexploded ordnance and mines.

Furthermore, in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Platform on Countering Hybrid Warfare, the SPS Programme assists a joint initiative from Ukraine and Lithuania to develop an early warning system to counter hybrid threats. An event will take place in Vilnius in April 2019 to make recommendations and provide a way ahead.

Over 33 activities with Ukraine are ongoing, which makes the country the biggest beneficiary of NATO’s SPS Programme 

“One of the current flagship projects is called ‘Dexter,”said Dr Deniz Yüksel-Beten, Senior SPS and Partnerships Cooperation Advisor at NATO. “It aims to develop a system to detect explosives and firearms in public spaces, remotely and in real time, without disrupting the flow of passengers,” she added.

Through another project, Ukrainian and Italian scientists are developing a new type of crystal sensors to detect CBRN agents, which can be used to support counter-terrorism measures.

Hungary considers Ukraine language law “unacceptable”

Péter Szijjártó, Hungary Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade called the Ukrainian language law voted on Thursday (April 25) “unacceptable“.  The law is violating the rights of the Hungarian national community and evokes the spirit of the outgoing President, Petro Porosenko, who pursued anti-Hungarian policy, Szijjártó said.

The Ukrainian voters however, by a large majority, elected another president – Volodymyr Zelensky – and ended the Porosenko era, noted Peter Szijjártó, who is currently with an official visit in Beijing.

We hope that, on the basis of mutual respect and with the intention to find a solution, we will be able to clarify with the overwhelmingly elected new president the situation following the laws affecting the rights of the Hungarian national community” the Minister said.

He added that the first statements of the new Ukrainian president could give hope, so after  Mr.Zelensky will enter in office, “we will do our utmost to restore the relationship between Ukraine and Hungary” to re-establish the earlier period when the two countries could express positive statements on their relationship.

Our goal is to be friends with Ukraine, and the latest Ukrainian presidential election results give us some hope,” said Péter Szijjártó to Hungarian news agency.

Image above: Péter Szijjártó (archive)

 

 

10 years of prison for bilingualism in Ukraine

The voted in the Ukrainian parliament law on official language (nr.5670)  significantly impacts the state policy in use of the Ukrainian, according to the authors ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language. It also proposed to fine officials, deputies, and other officials if they decline speaking the state language at work place. But the introduction of this responsibility  has been postpone for three years.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the law (nr.5670 leads to fines, and there is an annex, directly indicating that attempts to introduce bilingualism or multilingualism, or grant official status to any other language in the whole country or in a particular region, is considered to be an overthrowing the constitutional order. This crime is punished for long sentences, amounting to 10 years in prison in accordance with section 109 of the Criminal Code.

All citizens of Ukraine and all officials at workplace, including the president, the chairman of parliament and his deputies, the prime minister and deputy prime ministers, the heads of all ministries and public institutions, deputies, civil servants, officials of local authorities, judges and lawyers, teachers and health workers,  – all state offices are obliged to speak Ukrainian language exclusively. There are a few exceptions made to speak another language if the decision is consensual.

It is a law on forced, in fact, total Ukrainization. Its provisions provide for significant restrictions, and in many cases, direct bans on the use of the Russian language and minority languages in various spheres of public life” spokesperson of Russian Foreign Ministry Maria #Zakharova wrote in her Twitter micro blog.

As recorded in the 2001 census, the minority groups in Ukraine include Russians, BelarusiansMoldovans, Tatars, Bulgarians, Poles, Jews, Romanians, Armenians, Hungarians, Greeks,  Roma,  and other nationalities. While a subsequent census was supposed to be conducted in 2011, it has been repeatedly postponed and is now scheduled to take place in 2020.

 

Ukraine language law against minorities

Ukrainian parliament – Verkhovna Rada – adopted the law “Providing the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the official one,” which discriminates all the other languages in the country. This decision was backed by 278 MPs.

Ukraine’s neighbors have a right to criticize a new Ukrainian law banning schools from teaching in minority languages beyond primary school level, the Venice Commission concluded.

The Ukrainian language is a symbol of our people, our state and our nation,” Poroshenko wrote. “It is another important step on the way toward our intellectual independence, Poroshenko wrote.

Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Facebook after the announcement of the voting results, calling today’s decision a historic one, comparing it to the reconstruction of the Ukrainian army and the reception of independence of Ukrainian Orthodox Church from Moscow.

“Today was a truly historic event. 278 Parliamentarians adopted the law “on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a government”. Thanks to the people’s Deputies for the very important law for Ukraine, for a clear state-owned position!” the President wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

As of 2015, Ukraine had 621 schools that taught in Russian, 78 in Romanian, 68 in Hungarian and five in Polish, according to education ministry data. According to different polls Russian is the native language of 30% of Ukraine‘s population.

Previously in December 2017 a leading European rights watchdog – the Venice Commission said “…The strong domestic and international criticism drawn especially by the provisions reducing the scope of education in minority languages seems justified,”

Image: children in folk costumes, Lvov, Ukraine.

Putin facilitates naturalisation procedure for Donabass

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, which makes it possible for residents of Donbass to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The document has been published on the Kremlin’s website.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko  accused Moscow of crossing a “red line” by signing a decree to facilitate the process of obtaining Russian citizenship in eastern Ukraine.

It’s a fact that this is about the Kremlin preparing the next point of aggression against our country: the annexation of Ukraine’s Donbass or the creation of a Russian enclave in Ukraine,” he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says that Russian citizenship degree is “the continuation of aggression and interference in our internal affairs,” urges Ukrainian citizens in areas held by Russia-backed separatists “not to accept Russian passports.”

Russia has deprived you of your present lives and now it is encroaching on your future”  Minister concluded.

“Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure,” the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made “in order to protect human rights and freedoms” based on generally accepted international laws.

Gratitude to Russia for making a decision on granting citizenship under a simplified procedure. It is an outstanding event all LPR citizens have been waiting for,” said Leonid Pasechnk, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

 

Ukraine: Poroshenko admits his defeat

Ukraine’s incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko, who, according to the exit polls, is far behind his rival, candidate from the Servant of the People party, showman Vladimir Zelensky, has admitted his defeat, but said added he is not going to quit politics. (Image above: illustration).

Next month I will vacate the presidential office. This is the choice of Ukrainians. I accept this decision. But I want to stress that I am not quitting politics,” he said, underlining that these were fair and transparent elections held in conformity with European standards.

Zelenskiy’s ascendance comes in the era of disappointment of electorate with systemic politics, propelling anti-establishment forces such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Italy’s 5-Star Movement, which was also once led by a comedian, to power, Reuters agency concludes.

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