MAE: Ukraine must maintain minorities' rights protection to remain set on European path

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Ukraine must maintain the national minorities' rights protection to remain set on its European path, Romania's Foreign Ministry (MAE) reported in a press release issued on Monday.

MAE points out it is watching with increased attention the decisions of the new authorities of Kiev, especially those concerning the redefinition of the normative framework through the abrogation or revocation of some laws adopted in the previous period.

In the context of abrogation, on the day of February 23, by Ukraine's Parliament of Ukraine's Law on the state policy principles in the linguistic area, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry voices its profound concern with a possible deterioration of the system for the protection of the rights of the persons belonging to national minorities.

'The Foreign Affairs Ministry believes that, to remain set on its European path, Ukraine must maintain the protection level of the rights of the persons belonging to national minorities, including the linguistic rights earned as effect of the law adopted in 2012 and revoked yesterday, February 23, 2014, by the authorities of Kiev. Moreover, this system needs to be consolidated through measures of systematic and efficient implementing, which has not previously occurred,' the cited release shows.

MAE brings to mind that at the moment of its adoption, Ukraine's Law on the state policy principles in the linguistic area made the object of a series of observations and suggestions of improvement on behalf of OSCE's High Commissioner for National Minorities and of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which adopted two letters of advice regarding the law.

'We also bring to mind that, at that moment, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry criticized the text of the law, as it mentioned, among the minorities' languages covered by the implementing area of the law, the so-called 'Moldovan' language, and proved the groundlessness of this provision. At the same time, we point out that we took note of the motivation that laid at the foundation of the abrogation of the aforementioned act, namely the fact that the law was allegedly adopted without observing the Constitution of Ukraine, namely the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Moreover, we took note of the declarations of the Ukrainian officials according to whom a new act in the area would be drawn up, with the consultation of the national minorities of Ukraine,' MAE also underscores.

Moreover, MAE voices the expectation that the authorities of Kiev take steps as soon as possible to draw up and adopt a new comprehensive regulation in the area, taking into account the provisions of the international conventions that Ukraine is part of, granting a priority to the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and of the framework convention on national minorities' protection, repairing the previously found deficiencies.

'A legislative void must not be allowed to perpetuate, so much the less a regress to an unfavourable previous legislation in an area of an essential importance to Ukraine's statehood and territorial integrity, as well as to its progress on the pro-European path. The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry believes that in this manner only will Ukraine answer to the interests and expectations of the minorities on its territory, the Romanian minority, included, as well as to the international commitments assumed as part of the international conventions in the fundamental rights protection area, including the rights belonging to national minorities,' the Romanian Foreign Ministry maintains.

In context, the Foreign Affairs Ministry brings to mind the complete support for Ukraine's European aspirations and objectives.

'At the same time, the Foreign Affairs Ministry underscores that these can be achieved only by observing the political criteria and by ensuring the proper protection of the national minorities' rights on all levels, which is very important. Preserving the Romanian identity in Ukraine is part of this package of responsibilities. In this respect, we shall continue to closely watch the situation of the Romanian ethnics of Ukraine, as well as the manner in which their rights are being observed and promoted,' the cited source mentions. AGERPRES

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