09 July 2020

Historically, Ukraine is a multinational, multi-confessional and multilingual State. More than one hundred and thirty nationalities live on its territory, speaking more than eighty languages. Multiculturalism and multilingualism are inalienable features of the people of Ukraine, and these features constitute their identity. Therefore, the state language policy is meant to be a reflection of this reality. As the experience of Canada, Switzerland, Finland and Belgium shows, cultural pluralism and multilingualism are the foundations of identity and power in a democratic, multinational and multilingual rule-of-law state. The idea of unity in diversity enabled Switzerland, a country not big in size, to survive and grow stronger.

However, the Law "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language" does not create the possibility for simultaneous functioning of the state language and comprehensive development and existence of the languages of national minorities, but on the contrary, it discriminates against citizens on the basis of language. The provisions of the law create unequal conditions for different languages, and, in particular, the Russian language. Thereby Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are pushed into collision. This is unacceptable. I would like to emphasize it that instead of regulating public relations in the field of language policy, the law became the cause of social conflicts.

The absolute majority of Ukrainian citizens support the status of the Ukrainian language as the state language. This public consensus is reflected in Article 10 of the Constitution of Ukraine. The same article defines Russian as the language of a national minority. However, at least 30% of citizens consider Russian to be their native language. And only half of them are ethnic Russians, the rest are representatives of other nationalities, most of whom are ethnic Ukrainians. The right to speak our mother tongue is given to us by God from birth, and not granted by the state. Indeed, there is no legal concept of "Russian-speaking Ukrainians", but there are citizens, and their rights must be protected. This is why we ask the Constitutional Court to establish the truth and protect the Constitution.

All related news