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Romanian Foreign Minister welcomes amendments to Ukraine's law on national minorities

Romanian Foreign Minister welcomes amendments to Ukraine's law on national minorities Romanian Foreign Minister praises the adoption of the law on minority rights (Photo: Luminita Odobescu/Twitter)

Romania has welcomed Ukraine's approval of amendments to the legislation on national minorities, taking into account the recommendations of the Council of Europe and the European Union, according to Romanian Foreign Minister Luminita Odobescu.

"Welcoming the Ukrainian amendments to legislation relevant to national minorities in Ukraine - a positive step forward. Romania will continue to promote a transparent and constructive approach to this matter," the Romanian Foreign Minister said.

Odobescu also reported on consultations with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, during which she reaffirmed Romania's support for the opening of negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the EU.

According to the Romanian Foreign Minister, during the consultations, the parties agreed to work on raising the level of bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.

Negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU and the nuances of minority rights

In 2022, Ukraine was granted candidate status for EU membership, but several conditions must be met to gain full membership.

In June 2023, the Venice Commission issued an opinion on the Law on National Minorities (Communities) of Ukraine, adopted in December 2022. It contains observations aimed at bringing some provisions in line with the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950, the Framework Convention for National Minorities of 1995, and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 1992.

The European Commission has recommended that Ukraine work on four reforms by March 2024. These include fighting corruption, de-oligarchization, lobbying regulation, and finalizing the law on national minorities.

On December 8, the Verkhovna Rada approved Law No. 10288-1, which takes into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission on the rights of national minorities (communities) in certain areas. The document, in particular, allows free choice of the language of instruction, which is the language of an EU country, and also provides for television broadcasting in the languages of Ukraine's national minorities. At the same time, the law clearly states that Russia does not have the status of a minority language outside of the timeframe.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already signed four European integration laws, including the law on the rights of national minorities No. 10288-1.