The first region has adopted Russian as a regional language
Odesa City Council at an extraordinary session on Monday made a decision according to which Russian received a status of regional language in the city.
73 out of 111 deputies present at the session (in total 120 deputies constitute the City Council) supported this decision, writes , "Ukrainian News".
The document was adopted within the framework of the law "On State Language Policy" which recently came into effect.
In the course of the project discussion Council deputy Alex Kosmin said that since 2003 term "languages of minoroites" was used in the Ukrainian society.
"The main condition of the law is as follows: in order to use the regional language according to the provisions of the law, more than 10% of the population must consider this language to be their mother tongue," - he recalled.
"According to the latest census, Odesa is a home for over 10% of the people who consider Russian their native language," - said Kosmin.
Kosmin said that the new law provides new opportunities for the City Council in order to develop and preserve Russian.
"The decision will allow to harmonize the relations between languages and provide opportunity to freely choose the language of interethnic communication in the city where over 200 years the word "Odessa" is spelled with double "s", - he added.
In his turn, the Mayor of Odesa Alexey Kostusev added that 89 percent of Odesa citizens feel more comfortable when speaking, reading and communicating in Russian.
"There is no doubt that this decision is supported by vast majority of Odesa" - said Kostusev.
Once the decision was made the session was immediately closed.
As it is known, on August 8, Viktor Yanukovych signed a law on the basis of the state language policy.
The law was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on July 3.