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2008-04-22
Ukraine
Prime Minister Tymoshenko denies systemic ethnic, religious discrimination in the country
Individual instances of xenophobia and anti-Semitism do not mean these problems are systemic in Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg (France). "Individual cases are individual cases," she said responding to questions. She added that that no clerics of any creed expressed any complaints to the authorities at the latest session of the Council of Churches, which discussed cooperation with all religions.

Tymoshenko said that the rights of all ethnic minorities are protected in Ukraine and their discrimination is absent. She strongly denied the accusations by head of the Russian delegation to PACE Konstantin Kosachyov that schools for minorities are being closed and media access restricted, for instance, that films without subtitles in Ukrainian are prohibited. Asked about land seizures by Crimean Tatars she said that even though the state supports their return to their historic homeland laws are the same for everyone, including laws on land.

Source: News Agency Interfax, Moscow/Russia
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