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Statement by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation regarding discrimination of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine

The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation expresses its deep concern about the fact that as early as September 2020, when the new Ukrainian legislation on education will enter into force, teaching in educational institutions (except for pre-school and primary levels) in Ukraine – country where Russian is the mother tongue for millions of people – will be almost entirely in Ukrainian.

In its Statement regarding the adoption of the Ukrainian Law on Education (resolution of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation No. 354‑SF of September 27, 2017), the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation noted that the Law is in conflict with the Constitution of Ukraine and obligations undertaken by Ukraine under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of 1 February 1995 and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 5 November 1992, infringes upon the interests of Russian-speaking population of the country and aims at across-the-board ukrainization.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also stated, in its resolution 2189 (2017) of 12 October 2017 entitled "The new Ukrainian law on education: a major impediment to the teaching of national minorities' mother tongues", that the law seriously infringes upon the rights in the area of education previously guaranteed to national minorities. In addition to Russia, protests against the new Ukrainian law were also made by Bulgarian, Hungarian, Greek, Moldavian and Romanian authorities.

Nevertheless, despite criticism voiced by many countries and international organizations, the Ukrainian authorities continued to pursue their policy of massive violation of rights of the Russian-speaking population having institutionalized it in the Ukrainian Law on Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language which came into force on 16 July 2019 and the Ukrainian Law on General Secondary Education of 16 January 2020. That was done in disregard of the Opinion of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) No. 902/2017 of 11 December 2017 according to which the Ukrainian law on education does not provide solutions for languages which are not official languages of the European Union, including, in particular, Russian as the most widely used non-state language in Ukraine. The Opinion specifically states that the less favorable treatment of these languages is difficult to justify, which raises the issue of their discrimination. Exclusions envisaged for languages of "native populations" which include in Ukraine a few ethnic groups living outside the country (in Crimea), and partly for official languages of the European Union only highlight the anti-human and predominantly anti-Russian nature of the new Ukrainian legislation on education.

The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation notes that Ukraine’s pro-Western orientation after the coup in 2014 has not brought it closer to civilized democratic standards. On the contrary, it has moved it even further away from them. The current Ukrainian leadership continues the discriminatory policy of the former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko aimed at restricting the right of the Russian-speaking population to study in their mother tongue. The policy of forced ukrainization has been one of the key causes of intra-Ukrainian conflict in Donbass which has already resulted in thousands of victims. Instead of learning lessons from mistakes made by their predecessors who relied on nationalist ideas, the Ukrainian authorities continue with the same policy effectively blocking thereby all ways to peaceful settlement of the conflict. Urging the regions that opposed the coup in 2014 to reintegrate while denying the Russian-speaking population of Donbass its rights in educational and other humanitarian areas, Ukraine is in fact doing everything to undermine the process of national reconciliation and implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation calls upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and parliaments of European countries to protect the rights of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine and will insist on the consideration of the situation in the international parliamentary organizations – the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


Federation Council

of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation





18.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

Question: I’ll start with the hottest topic, Belarus. President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited Bocharov Ruchei. Both sides have officially recognised that change within the Union State is underway. This begs the question: What is this about? A common currency, common army and common market? What will it be like? Sergey Lavrov: It will be the way our countries decide. Work is underway. It relies on the 1999 Union Treaty. We understand that over 20 years have passed since then. That is why, a couple of years ago, upon the decision of the two presidents, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus began to work on identifying the agreed-upon steps that would make our integration fit current circumstances. Recently, at a meeting with Russian journalists, President Lukashenko said that the situation had, of course, changed and we must agree on ways to deepen integration from today’s perspective.

15.09.2020 - Excerpt from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI TV channel, Moscow, September 14, 2020

Question: You have been the Foreign Minister of Russia for 16 years now and had to deal with the most serious challenges of this century. Sanctions were imposed. We began to adapt to them and survived them. Germany announced that it has received the results of Alexey Navalny’s tests. France and Sweden confirmed the presence of the Novichok agent in them. Do you think Navalny’s case may become the driver of new anti-Russia sanctions?

14.09.2020 - Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from the Moscow, Kremlin, Putin programme Moscow, September 13, 2020

Question: Given the serious tensions in the world today, differences sometimes can also arise between the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Can the SCO format help smooth over these differences?

12.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with member of the State Council and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, Moscow, September 11, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Today’s talks with my colleague and friend, member of the State Council and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, were held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust and were very substantial.

11.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at the press conference following the SCO Foreign Ministers Council Meeting, Moscow, September 10, 2020

We have completed the Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States. It was very fruitful. We approved a press release expressing our views on general political matters, so I will not elaborate too much on these subjects.

10.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Moscow, September 9, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, We have had very constructive talks as part of the regular communications between our countries’ foreign ministers. Back in June, we held several in-depth meetings via videoconference, but today we had an in-person meeting in order to prepare for the large-scale bilateral events scheduled for this year. These are to be held during the Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum and the 65th anniversary celebrations of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is our shared pride, as well as during the preparations of the upcoming meeting of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation and subsequently during the plenary meeting of this important structure.

10.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the official reception for the SCO Foreign Ministers Council, Moscow, September 9, 2020

We have gathered here and will start our work now. Our main task is to prepare for the meeting of the Heads of State Council, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin just said. The summit is bound to become the key event of Russia’s chairmanship. In our work, we are primarily guided by the Russian chairmanship’s action plan, which was endorsed by the President of Russia and approved by the other heads of state.

09.09.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement on the situation around Alexei Navalny

In connection with the demarche undertaken by the Group of Seven on the ‘Alexei Navalny case’, the Foreign Ministry has issued the following statement. Russia insists that Germany provide data on Alexei Navalny’s medical examination, including the results of the biochemical tests, as per the official request for legal assistance submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation on August 27, 2020. Berlin has not been willing to respond to our repeated requests in a prompt and constructive manner.

08.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yury Borisov and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic Walid Muallem following talks, Damascus, September 7, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, The current visit of our delegation is primarily devoted to discussing the prospects for the further development of cooperation between Russia and the Syrian Arab Republic in the new conditions that have developed within the country, in the region and in the world as a whole. The key aspect of the current stage is based on the fact that Syria, including with the support of the Russian Federation, has withstood the fight against international terrorism and the forces that hatched the plan to destroy Syrian statehood.

07.09.2020 - Press release on ASEM Ministerial Statement on COVID-19 by Russia, EU, Germany, Singapore and Cambodia

On September 7, 2020 the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Statement on COVID-19 was adopted by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, EU, Germany and Singapore as ASEM Regional Coordinators and Cambodia as the Host of the 13th ASEM Summit with support of all ASEM partners. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused unprecedented damages to life, health and well-being of ASEM nations, the Ministers reaffirmed commitment to continue joint steps to fight the disease and experience sharing in order to control and prevent its further spreading. They commended healthcare personnel and volunteers working in the frontline of the outbreak.

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