18:06 24.04.2014

Kharkiv regional council demands official status for Russian language

2 min read

Kharkiv Regional Council has asked the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to look for public consensus by way of negotiations only.

"We categorically demand a discontinuation of the current radicalization of the domestic situation through the use of armed force and other military units in breach of Article 17 of the Ukrainian Constitution in order to restrict civilian rights and liberties enshrined in Articles 24-40 of the Constitution, because understanding within society can only be found through political dialogue, compromises and mutual concessions," the regional council said in an appeal approved at its Thursday session.

The majority opposed the proposal by Batkivschyna Party council member Ivan Varchenko who insisted on the exclusion of this clause from the appeal.

At the same time the majority backed the amendments proposed by the Party of Regions faction leader and presidential candidate Mykhailo Dobkin, calling for the return of Russian television channels, urgent signing of a memorandum between the authorities and the opposition, and the passage of an opposition law.

The appeal was voted 82-3 with three abstentions. Fifteen council members chose not to vote.

Russian must be made a second official language in Ukraine, and parties, movements, organizations and associations promoting radicalism should be banned, the authors also said.

A new structure of Ukraine must give broader powers to regions, the authors said. They also insisted an objective and public inquiry into the nationwide protests and that the 2014 amnesty law should extend to their organizers and participants, including law enforcement officers.

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