UN Rejects Russia’s Call for Meeting on Ukraine Language Law

Security Council vote fell short of nine yes votes needed for meeting

Russia’s call for a UN Security Council meeting on the Ukraine language law fell short on Monday. A vote needed nine yes votes to pass, but Russia managed only five yes votes, with the US and EU nations all opposing the matter, and several other nations abstaining.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nabenezia was deeply critical of the new Ukrainian law, saying it violated the Minsk ceasefire agreement in Eastern Ukraine. The law forces Ukrainians in many key positions to speak only Ukrainian language, and threatens to fine those who speak Russian.

This is a major issue in Ukraine, especially in the east, because Russian is the common language of the ethnic Russians in the east. The law is seen as explicitly designed to persecute the Russian east.

France accused Russia of bringing up the language law to try to embarrass Ukraine’s new president. It’s not clear why this would be the case, as President Zelenskiy, himself a TV comedian on Russian-language programming, publicly opposed the language law, and accused his political opponents of rushing it through after the election, but before he took office.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.