Moldovan Parliament Approves Russian as Language of Inter-Ethnic Communication
Moldova’s parliament approved the final reading of a new bill on functioning of languages in the country, granting the status of a language of inter-ethnic communication to Russian, at the Wednesday session broadcast by the parliamentary press service, TASS reports.
"The decision was passed by 55 votes [out of 101] in the second reading," Speaker Zinaida Greceanii stated.
"As a language of inter-ethnic communication, Russian is used on the territory of the republic alongside the official language," the bill says adding that at citizens’ request, public officials are instructed to reply in Russian, including in the written form. However, Moldovan remains the official language of paperwork at governmental bodies.
The bill says that citizens are guaranteed the right to education in both the official and Russian languages, and the authorities are to create conditions for ethnic groups living in the republic to receive education in their mother tongues. Along with this, the official language must be studied compulsorily at all educational institutions.
The amendments were authored by the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM). A member of the Moldovan parliament, Bogdan Tirdea, a coauthor of the bill, told TASS that the bill aimed to reinstate Russian as a language of inter-ethnic communication. He recalled that Moldova’s Constitutional Court ruled in 2018 that the law on languages in the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic was outdated. That law had granted Russian a special status in the country where one third of the citizens speaks it. According to the lawmaker, the court’s ruling was lobbied by the politicians calling for Moldova’s reunification with Romania.
Lawmakers of the opposition pro-European parties - the Action and Solidarity Party, the Dignity and Truth Platform Party and the Democratic Party of Moldova - refused to back the bill and boycotted the parliamentary meeting.
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