Moscow condemns bill that doesn’t recognize Russians as Ukraine’s native peoples

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Tuesday unanimously adopted a draft statement, condemning Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s bill, which reads that Russians cannot be considered native peoples of the country and calling on inter-parliamentarian institutions and EU member parliaments to oppose this initiative.

“The State Duma views the bill submitted by the Ukrainian president as an insult to historical memory and a new attempt to drive a wedge between Russians, Ukrainians and other native peoples of Ukraine,” the statement reads. Moreover, lawmakers reaffirmed all the previous statements made by the chamber about “the malignancy of the ethnic policy of the Ukrainian authorities who continue to undermine the foundations of their own constitution, laws and Ukraine’s international obligations.”

The lower chamber also appeals to the Inter-Parliamentarian Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), parliamentarian assemblies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), OSCE and Council of Europe as well as parliaments of EU member states “with a call to castigate the attempt made in Ukraine to split its population into ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ which can have the most serious consequences for the very existence of Ukraine as a state.”

On May 18, Zelensky announced that he submitted a bill on native peoples to the national parliament to ensure that rights of certain ethnicities are protected. The bill would not grant this status to Russians in Ukraine.