Ukrainian Deputy PM Tomenko Supports Giving Russian Status of Second Official Language

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Mykola Tomenko, has said in a live TV interview that he supports giving Russian the status of a second official language. This will ensure that the human rights of the Russian-speaking population are observed.

"There is a need for solving this problem. Opinion polls clearly show that there is a problem," Tomenko said. "The authorities should think how to protect the rights of those whose native language is Russian."

"We should change our stance. If elderly people cannot learn the Ukrainian language they should have the right to use Russian in official documents. There is also a problem with education. I think we should look for a compromise here as well and take into account the views of these people," he said.

Speaking about dual citizenship with Russia, Tomenko said the government should solve real problems of people rather than make political declarations. What people really want - free movement between Ukraine and Russia and the possibility to work in both countries - can be achieved without dual citizenship, Tomenko said.

Source: ICTV Television