02 June 2020, 18:27
World Russian People's Council calls on EU leaders to defend Russians' right to study in Ukrainian schools in their native language
Moscow, June 2, Interfax - The World Russian People's Council, which is headed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, has asked international organizations and the leaders of European Union countries to react to Kiev's decision to order Russian-language schools in Ukraine to switch to teaching in the Ukrainian language from September 1.
"It is necessary to stop this outrage and discrimination against Russian citizens in Ukraine in the field of national education policy and give Russians and other Russian-speaking citizens a right to have their own schools and classes where they could receive primary and secondary education in their native language or a language as chosen by their parents," the World Russian People's Council said in an address published on its website on Tuesday.
The council believes that the closure of state Russian-language schools in Ukraine will sow even greater discord among the country's citizens and will contribute to the radicalization of the conflict in its east and southeast, where "a significant number of citizens see Russian as their native language and are eager to give their children an opportunity to safeguard their culture and language."
The authors of the address are particularly concerned that the law "On full general secondary education", which was adopted in Ukraine, contravenes a whole range of international agreements. In particular, the 1995 Framework Convention of the Council of Europe for the Protection of National Minorities, which Ukraine signed on January 26, 1998, says that "every person belonging to a national minority has the right to learn his or her minority language."
Believing that the Ukrainian authorities' decision to stop teaching in Russian "cannot be called anything other than discriminatory", the leadership of the World Russian People's Council calls on international organizations advocating human rights and the leaders of European states to "draw the Ukrainian government's attention to this violation of the fundamental principles of international agreements."
The World Russian People's Council is an international non-governmental organization, which was established in 1993. It was granted special consultative status with the United Nations in 2005.
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