Ukrainian opposition calls on parliament to spurn language bill

The Ukrainian opposition has called on parliament not to consider a controversial language bill that would lift restrictions on the use of Russian and other languages in the multilingual country.

Under the bill, Ukrainian would remain the only state language and restrictions would be lifted on the use of other languages spoken in the country, including Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian, granting them official regional status.

The opposition says the bill would put the country’s sovereignty at risk and deepen Kiev’s historic dependence on Moscow.

Russian is still used in much of Ukraine, especially in the east, the Crimea and the capital Kiev, and there is a strong movement to protect the rights of Russian speakers.