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Federalization crucial for Ukraine — Russian lawmaker

April 08, 2014, 18:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Vyacheslav Nikonov described the events in Donetsk and Luhansk as an absolutely natural protest by Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine against the extremely near-sighted nationalist policy pursed by Kiev authorities"
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Pro-Russian protesters at the building of Kharkiv regional administration

Pro-Russian protesters at the building of Kharkiv regional administration

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

MOSCOW, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine's failure to implement federalization, confirm its non-aligned status and make Russian an official language might compromise its integrity, a Russian lawmaker warned on Tuesday.

"It's perfectly clear that if the Kiev authorities do not go the way of federalization, do not give official status to the Russian language and non-aligned status to Ukraine, it will probably be doomed as an independent and integral state," chairman of the Education Committee at the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament Vyacheslav Nikonov said on Tuesday.

Nikonov described the events developing in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk as "an absolutely natural protest by Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine against the extremely near-sighted nationalist policy pursed by so-called incumbent Kiev authorities."

"Of course, these are not Moscow's intrigues," the lawmaker stressed, reminding that the actions by residents of Eastern Ukraine were a reaction to persecution of the Russian language, the impossibility to form self-rule, far-right militant nationalism, the difficult economic situation, higher prices of public utilities and simply the poverty in which Ukraine found itself.

In such a situation, Russia might have to intervene in case of escalation of violence and bloodshed in Ukraine. However, the Russian lawmaker underscored that he saw no reasons for bringing in troops.

As for the socioeconomic situation at the present time, he said, "We seldom notice it, but in Ukraine, the standard of living is four times lower than in Russia and three times lower than in Belarus. Ukraine used to be the most prosperous republic in the Soviet Union. A protest is obvious in such a situation."

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