Acting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed into law bill No. 5670-d on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the national language. The signing was broadcast by Ukrainian Pryamiy TV Channel.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy signed the draft law on May 14. The signing took place after the lawmakers had rejected all four draft resolutions proposing that the parliament’s decision to adopt the draft law be repealed. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, adopted the language bill on April 25. A total of 278 Members of Parliament backed the decision.
The law provides that citizens of Ukraine be in command of Ukrainian as the language of their citizenship. It is noted that the state shall organize Ukrainian language courses for adults and provide an opportunity for citizens of Ukraine to learn the national language free of charge if they had no such opportunity.
According to the law, a person seeking Ukrainian citizenship is obliged to pass a Ukrainian language test. However, individuals who perform military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and are given a state award and those whose citizenship of Ukraine is of state interest for the country have the right to acquire Ukrainian citizenship without taking the language test, but remain obliged to master it within one year from the date they were granted Ukraine’s citizenship.
Earlier, commenting on the new legislation, the president said: “The law on the Ukrainian language does not mean that we want to ‘put pressure’ on any other language. This is definitely not the case. This law means we must protect our language. For it will be protected in no place in the world, except Ukraine,” Poroshenko added. The law is not applicable to the sphere of private communication and religious ceremonies.