Zelensky's indigenous peoples bill worsens Kiev's neo-Nazi stance — Zakharova

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s bill, which leaves no opportunity for Russians to be regarded as Ukraine’s indigenous people merely worsens Kiev’s neo-Nazi stance, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in her Telegram channel on Tuesday.

“The adoption of such marginal laws rivets Ukraine more strongly to its nationalist, neo-Nazi stance,” she stressed. “Kiev’s signal to the population is clear: your nationality, your ethnic group, your people has its own state. You cannot lay claim to having equal rights with the ‘Ukrainian’ nation. Remember that at any moment you may have to leave for where your nation-state is. This law will apply to millions.”

Zelensky on May 18 said he had submitted to parliament a bill on the indigenous peoples for safeguarding their rights. According to the bill, the status of indigenous people belongs to an autochthonic ethnic community, which took shape in Ukrainian territory, possesses a unique language and culture, has traditional, social, cultural and representative bodies, identifies itself as an indigenous people of Ukraine, constitutes an ethnic minority and has no state entity outside Ukraine. This definition proposed by Zelensky means that Russians have no chance of being considered as indigenous people in Ukraine. At the same time, the bill contains a separate definition of indigenous peoples of Crimea, such as Tatars, Karaims and Krymchaks.

Russia’s State Duma on Tuesday unanimously voted for a draft statement critical of Zelensky’s bill and urged the inter-parliamentary structures and parliaments of the EU countries to oppose this initiative.