UN / UKRAINE

20-May-2019 00:02:48
With five votes in favour, six votes against, and four abstentions, the Security Council rejected a Russian request to hold a meeting to discuss a recently enacted law that institutes Ukrainian as the official language of the country. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / UKRAINE
TRT: 02:48
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 20 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

20 MAY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Various shots, Security Council vote
3. SOUNDBITE (English) DianTriansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations:
“The provisional agenda has not been adopted, having failed to obtain the required numbers of votes.”
4. Wide shot, Council
5. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“We consider it necessary to propose to convene this meeting given that the latest steps by the Verkhovna Rada and the outgoing former President Poroshenko who is leaving in shame, directly undermine the spirit and letter of the Minsk Agreement and resolution 2202. The issue of language rights was one of the reasons which led to the Ukraine losing Crimea and Donbass.”
6. Med shot, Council President
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jonathan Allen, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“The distinguished representative of the Russian Federation is not giving an explanation of vote, he is giving a substantive intervention on a meeting which is not happening. In so doing, Mr. President, he shows disrespect for this Council and he shows disrespect for the ruling that you just gave him, asking him to limit his remarks to an explanation to his vote.”
8. Med shot, Belgian representative
9. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“It would be interesting to ask our Belgian colleagues how they would react if Brussels for some reason adopted a decision on banning the use of Flemish or French in your language. And how would people react in Paris or the Hague. Or how would our German colleagues react if the German language was banned in Switzerland. Or imagine if in Finland Swedish was banned, where ten percent of the population speaks Swedish. I am giving these completely absurd examples so that you really feel the entire degree of disappointment and concern of the Russian speaking people of Ukraine.”
10. Wide shot, Council
11. Wide shot, German and French Ambassadors at podium
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations:
“Russia’s request to hold a public meeting on the law of ‘the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language,’ precisely on the day of the new Ukrainian President’s inauguration has a specific reason: The Russian objective is to pursue its notorious policy of intimidation against Ukraine again. We therefore welcomed the decision of the majority of member states not to support this Russian proposal.”
13. Wide shot, ambassadors walk away
STORYLINE
With five votes in favour, six votes against, and four abstentions, the Security Council today (20 May) rejected a Russian request to hold a meeting to discuss a recently enacted law that institutes Ukrainian as the official language of the country.

During his explanation of vote, Russian Ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, said, “we consider it necessary to propose to convene this meeting given that the latest steps by the Verkhovna Rada and the outgoing former President Poroshenko who is leaving in shame, directly undermine the spirit and letter of the Minsk Agreement and resolution 2202.”

He stressed that “the issue of language rights was one of the reasons which led to the Ukraine losing Crimea and Donbass.”

The representative of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Allen, requested the floor, interrupting Nebenzya’s intervention and said, “the distinguished representative of the Russian Federation is not giving an explanation of vote, he is giving a substantive intervention on a meeting which is not happening.”

In so doing, Allen said “he shows disrespect for this Council and he shows disrespect for the ruling that you just gave him, asking him to limit his remarks to an explanation to his vote.”

Nebenzya continued and said, “it would be interesting to ask our Belgian colleagues how they would react if Brussels for some reason adopted a decision on banning the use of Flemish or French in your language. And how would people react in Paris or the Hague. Or how would our German colleagues react if the German language was banned in Switzerland. Or imagine if in Finland Swedish was banned, where ten percent of the population speaks Swedish. I am giving these completely absurd examples so that you really feel the entire degree of disappointment and concern of the Russian speaking people of Ukraine.”

Outside the Council, the representatives of France and Germany issued a statement stating that “Russia’s request to hold a public meeting on the law of ‘the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language’ precisely on the day of the new Ukrainian President’s inauguration has a specific reason: The Russian objective is to pursue its notorious policy of intimidation against Ukraine again. We therefore welcomed the decision of the majority of member states not to support this Russian proposal.”

The Verkhovna Rada, the unicameral parliament of Ukraine, approved the Ukrainian language bill on 25 April, and it was signed into law by then-president Petro Poroshenko on 15 May.

The law institutes Ukrainian as the official language of the country.
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