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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President Poroshenko Promises Not to Allow Ukraine's Division on Linguistic Grounds

RIA Novosti

18:41 09/11/2014

KIEV, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has stated on his Facebook page Sunday, he will not allow the division of the country on linguistic grounds, though he still intends to keep the Ukrainian language as the only state language.

'After what we all have gone through and are going through this year, no one will ever divide us on linguistic grounds. I, as a president, will not allow it,' Poroshenko said.

Ukrainian President has also noted that more and more Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine share his position that the Ukrainian language should be the only state language.

On June 7, during his inauguration ceremony Poroshenko announced that Ukrainian would remain the only official language in the country.

Immediately after the February coup, Ukraine's parliament said that the 2012 law allowing for official bilingualism in 13 out of 27 regions of the country was no longer valid. The parliament's decision to abolish the language law sparked unrest in the south and south-east of Ukraine.

In March, Crimea, a predominantly Russian-speaking region, decided to split from Ukraine and to reunite with Russia. This decision was backed by over 96 percent of voters.

In mid-April, Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine, also a predominantly Russian-speaking region. The conflicting sides reached a ceasefire agreement at a September 5 meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk. A memorandum specifying the implementation of the ceasefire was adopted at another Contact Group meeting on September 19. Both sides have subsequently accused each other of violating the truce.

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