Court quashes ruling on Russian as Odesa’s regional language

Odesa District Administrative Court has found that regional council decisions regarding the regional status of the Russian language, which were made in 2012 under a law repealed in 2018, are now unconstitutional.

“In Odesa region [the regional council decision]: the regional language has been cancelled. A decision to that effect was issued by Odesa District Administrative Court,” Svyatoslav Litinskyi said on Facebook.

From now on, “any references to regional council decisions to introduce a regional language shall be almost nonexistent,” he said.

“We have already secured the cancellation of the regional language in the city of Odesa,” Litinskyi said.

It was reported that in November, the commissioner for the protection of the official language, Taras Kremen, asked newly-elected local councilors to abolish their predecessors’ decisions on the functioning of regional languages. Kremen said that although the law “On the foundations of the state language policy” was ruled unconstitutional back in February 2018, the decisions of certain regional, town, and rural councils in Dnipro, Zakarpatia, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson, and Chernivtsi regions remained in effect.

Under the law on ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as the official language, effective from July 16, 2019, the status of Ukrainian as the sole official language involves the obligation of state and local officials to use it in the exercise of their duties anywhere in Ukraine, he said.

“All central government and local authorities have six months from the effective date of this law to bring their normative acts into line [with the law]. However, certain local authorities have still not done so, and in some of them, paperwork and even some decisions are made in the regional language in direct violation of the law,” Kremen said.

(c) Interfax

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