A people that “does not show respect” cannot have any special minority rights, Ruslan Stefanchuk has said
FILE PHOTO: The Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada speaker, Ruslan Stefanchuk © Global Look Press / Yoshio Tsunoda
Ukraine is not willing to recognize its Russian population as an ethnic minority or grant it any corresponding rights, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, told the national TV broadcaster on Monday. Kiev has “reached full understanding” on this issue with the EU, he claimed.
Persecution of the Russian-speaking minority in the Donbass was one of the key reasons for taking military action in Ukraine in February 2022, according to Moscow. Russia has not been alone in objecting to the treatment of ethnic minorities in the country. Budapest and Bucharest have protested that the rights of ethnic Hungarians and Romanians, respectively, have been violated as well.
“There are no Russian ethnic minorities in Ukraine as of now and there can be none,” Stefanchuk said on air during a national TV broadcast. The speaker insisted that special rights should only be granted in accordance with “a principle of mutual respect.”
“If a people do not show respect but commit aggression against Ukraine, their rights should be infringed upon in this regard,” Stefanchuk stated, referring to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.