Ukraine Passes Language Law Opposed by President-Elect

Ukraine Passes Language Law Opposed by President-Elect

FILE - People line up after crossing the contact line between pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian troops as they wait at passport control in Mayorsk, Ukraine February 25, 2019.

The document said that "attempts to introduce official multilingualism in Ukraine" is unconstitutional.

"We are far from trying to provoke anyone", he said, adding that it was odd that Kiev had reacted angrily to move. "I don't see anything unusual here".

Ukraine's parliament approved a law on Thursday that grants special status to the Ukrainian language and makes it mandatory for public sector workers, a move Russia described as divisive and said discriminated against Russian-speakers.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his victory in the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine and said he was looking forward to working with the future head of state to further deepen Ukrainian-Austrian relations.

Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine's Russia-friendly opposition, said it violated the constitutional rights of millions of Ukrainian Russian-speakers.

Importantly, Nebenzia noted that applicants for Russian citizenship and travel documents can keep their Ukrainian citizenship.

The UN's political affairs chief has urged all parties to the peace plan protocol for eastern Ukraine known as the Minsk Agreements, to avoid "any unilateral steps" that could undermine efforts to demilitarize the eastern conflict zone. But he also stated in his election program that he would seek worldwide support for Ukraine to see the return of "temporarily occupied territories and forcing the aggressor to reimburse the damage". "However, the majority of Ukrainian voters have elected another president, Vladimir Zelensky, putting an end to the age of Poroshenko", he said.

The United States said it was "unacceptable" for Russian Federation to decide to extend citizenship rights to Ukrainians and accused Moscow of fueling the conflict in the region.

"If Kiev implements the Minsk accord, we will seek a normalization of the situation", Putin said.

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