Source: President of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko stresses the importance of supporting, providing development and protection of the Ukrainian language. The Head of State said this during a solemn meeting on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Prosvita Society during the working visit to Lviv region.
“It does not fit into the head, how did it happen that it was so difficult for the Ukrainian language to break through the age-old layers of total Russification in the independent Ukraine? For 23 years we could not find ways to support, provide development and protect the Ukrainian language. How in an independent Ukraine could the law be passed, which is in one logical series with the Valuev Circular and the Ems Ukaz? Naturally, the Constitutional Court abolished that law of 2012,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“The Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading a bill “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language”. It is really needed, though honestly, I did not support the fact that its consideration would take place on the eve of the election campaign. I do not want anyone to speculate on this topic. Because the language is definitely not a topic for speculation,” the Head of State emphasized.
The President emphasized: “A strategic law for Ukraine should be devoid of any conjuncture. The law on the Ukrainian language must be for ages, for centuries, for generations of Ukrainians”.
This law must be in line with the European models of language policy from the perspective of our future membership in the European Union, the President said.
“A fundamental break in linguistic policy occurred in 2014 after the Revolution of Dignity. From the first days of the presidency, after the election of the new Verkhovna Rada in early elections in 2014, the Ukrainian authorities implement effective steps to overcome the consequences of Russification and strengthen the positions of the Ukrainian language,” the President said.
Petro Poroshenko recalled the discussions over the adoption of the law on language quotas on radio and television, how people talked about the lack of Ukrainian products and about their supposed “non-format”. He added that in 2013 the share of Ukrainian-language songs on radio stations was less than 5%, now – 55%, and this is even significantly more than required by law.
According to him, Ukrainians began to listen to Ukrainian songs. “Over-execution of language quotas by the broadcasting stations speaks of one thing – their implementation is fully in line with the public request,” he added. The President noted that Ukrainian singers and musicians managed to quickly satisfy this demand. “And our Ukrainian language has become fashionable on the radio,” the President said.
After the first successful step with radio, we began to solve the language issue on television, the Head of State said. According to him, it is too early to make conclusions, but progress is obvious. Ukrainians started to shoot TV series of their own production in Ukrainian language.
Petro Poroshenko also noted that the share of Ukrainians getting education in Ukrainian is 91%, and the share of first-graders is 95%. “After the adoption of the new Law “On Education”, you have seen and heard that we sustained the onslaught of the neighbors. I want to emphasize that the language article of the educational law fully complies with European practices, which was confirmed by the conclusion of the Venice Commission,” the President said.