Russia protested to PACE over Ukraine’s law on indigenous peoples

The Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), together with deputies from Serbia, Armenia, Hungary and Moldova, protested the adoption of the law on indigenous peoples by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, announced this in his Telegram channel on Thursday.

“Russia has already declared a protest in PACE in connection with the actions of Kiev. Our initiative to condemn the actions of the Ukrainian side was supported by deputies from Serbia, Armenia, Hungary, Moldova. I am confident that the number of those dissatisfied with the actions of Kiev will increase, ”the head of the delegation said.

Tolstoy also clarified that the actions of the Ukrainian deputies, “shouting joyfully about the adopted law,” cannot be left unanswered. In his opinion, “outspoken Nazis” who are covered by the European authorities have settled in the Verkhovna Rada. “By their decision to delete 20 million Russian people from history, they lead to a repetition of the events of the second quarter of the XX century,” added the head of the Russian delegation.

On July 1, the Verkhovna Rada, by a majority (325) votes, adopted the law “On the Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine”, which was previously introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. According to the text of the document, an “indigenous people” is an ethnic community that “was formed on the territory of Ukraine, is a bearer of a distinctive language and culture, recognizes itself as an indigenous people of Ukraine, does not have its own state education outside of Ukraine”

In Russia, the new law has been repeatedly criticized because it did not include Russians as indigenous peoples. Thus, during the direct line, Russian President Vladimir Putin called this law an example of the unfriendly attitude of the current Kiev administration towards Russia. “This is generally simply incomprehensible to the mind. From time immemorial, Russian people have lived here, and now they are declared non-indigenous, ”he said, adding that this could lead to a reduction in the number of Russians in the country. According to Putin, this is comparable to “the use of weapons of mass destruction.” The State Duma also condemned the draft law, calling it a “flagrant provocation” aimed at exacerbating tensions inside and outside Ukraine.