The speaker of Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's Parliament), Volodymyr Lytvyn, has said that the second reading of the controversial language bill will not take place this week. He says there are two main reasons: first, the bill is not ready. Over 2000 amendments were proposed after bill passed its first reading and the Parliamentary committee has considered only a fraction of them. And second, the bill is so controversial that Lytvyn believes it should not be pushed further in the current session, which ends on 6 July. He also said that, in his view, work should continue on the bill, but through a specially constituted working group, which would include academics and representatives of all political views.

The Party of the Regions, not unexpectedly, does not agree. Its leader, Oleksandr Yefremov says that if, after 30 days of working on the amendments, the Committe does not come back to Verkhovna Rada with recommendations, members of Rada have the right to discuss the bill and pass it as it stood after the first reading. He also said that it was absurd to have over 2000 proposed amendments to a bill with 30 clauses and said the aim was to destroy the Bill.

The debate about the bill shows no sign of declining. Leading Party of the Regions members are adamant that the bill only seeks to implement European standards of non-discrimination for 12 different languages spoken in Ukraine, not just Russian, while opponents are equally adamant that the bill is subverting the Constitution by making Russian a de facto second state language in many areas of Ukraine.

In the meantime, one of Vladimir Putin's closest advisers has joined the debate. Serhiy Ivanov, head of the Presidential Administration, has said that the bill would be a 'blessing' for Ukraine and would benefit the country.

To read more (in Ukrainian), click here.



Ukrayinska Dumka


Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.