Ukraine is not willing to recognize the Russian population as an ethnic minority and is not willing to provide them with adequate rights, Ruslan Stepanchuk, the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, told state-controlled television on Monday.
Kiev “reached a full agreement” on this issue with the EU he claimed.
According to Moscow, the persecution of the Russian-speaking minority in Donbass was one of the main reasons for launching a military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Russia was not alone in protesting the country’s brutal treatment of ethnic minorities. Budapest and Bucharest also protested against the violation of the rights of Hungarians and Romanians.
“There is currently no Russian ethnic minority in Ukraine, and there never will be,” Stefanchuk said on national television. The spokesperson insisted that special rights should only be granted to an ethnic group in accordance with the “principle of mutual respect”.
“If a people does not show respect, but commits aggression against Ukraine, then their rights must be violated in this area” Stefanchuk stated, referring to the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow.
Responding to the statements, the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Marija Zakharova, called his words “the Nazi of the 21st century”. He added that the speech of the Ukrainian official lacked, among other things, the Hitler salute.
Stefanchuk claimed on Monday that the Kyiv regime had managed to convince both the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the EU Commission that its position on the issue was correct.
“We reached a complete agreement here” – He told. However, neither Brussels nor the Venice Commission has commented on the issue so far.
Earlier this year, the Venice Commission urged Ukraine to improve recognition of its national minorities if it hopes to join the EU. Among the proposed reforms were the publication of official state documents in the minority language, the postponement of the introduction of the Ukrainian language as the main language in schools, the provision of interpretation services at Ukrainian-language public events, and the abandonment of Ukrainian-language content quotas for minority media. Currently, only 10% of media content can be broadcast in minority languages.
Kiev is “not even ready to hold a debate” on the granting of minority rights to Russians living on Ukrainian territory, Stefanchuk claimed during the broadcast, while accusing Moscow of “aggression” and “genocide against the Ukrainian people” and explained that these people cannot enjoy no privileges in the country.
In June, the country’s deputy prime minister responsible for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, Olha Stefanchyna, stated that “the concept of the Russian ethnic minority does not exist in Ukraine.” He also accused Moscow of not showing enough interest in the issue to clearly define the rights of Russians in Ukraine.
After the 2014 Western-backed Maidan coup, Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern about the status of the Russian-speaking population and those who do not want to sever ties with Russia. In addition, as part of the derailed Minsk agreements, he also advocated granting Donbass a special autonomous status.