Verkhovna Rada adopts law on Ukrainian language
Verkhovna Rada members adopted the law "Providing the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the official one," which enshrines its exclusive rights against the other languages in the country.
This decision was backed by 278 MPs, with the minimal needed number being 226, TASS reported.
The law does not cover the sphere of personal life.
Verkhovna Rada adopted this law on October 4 last year at the first reading. About 2,500 amendments were suggested for the second reading in total, most of which were finally rejected.
The law "Providing the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the official one" stipulates that Ukrainian is the sole official language in the country. Attempts to introduce official multilingualism are recognized as "directed at the forcible change or overthrow of the constitutional regime." The term "public degradation of the Ukrainian language" was introduced. It is regarded as an "illegal action which equals abuse of the state symbols of Ukraine and is punished under the law."
The law stipulates the creation of the position of commissioner for the official language protection whom the cabinet of ministers will appoint and dismiss. His task is to protect the Ukrainian language, as well as the citizens’ rights to receive information and services in all spheres of public life on Ukrainian territory in the official language.
"Language inspectors" will monitor the execution of the law. They will be present at sessions in any state bodies, demand documents from public organizations and political parties and issue fines.
The National Commission for Official Language Standards will develop and approve the language norms. It will also develop methods to check the level of the Ukrainian language, in particular for gaining citizenship or occupying certain positions. The state certificate is a document that confirms the level of the Ukrainian language that will be issued by the Center for the Ukrainian Language after examination.