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Ukraine government pledges Russian language rights

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Secretary General Lamberto Zannier (L) meets with Ukrainian acting President Oleksander Turchinov during a meeting in Kiev, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Anastasia Sirotkina/Pool

KIEV: Ukraine's acting president and prime minister offered some of their strongest pledges yet on Friday to strengthen constitutional rights to use the Russian language in a bid to defuse separatist protests.

In a joint televised address, acting President Oleksander Turchinov and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk called for national unity, urged people to refrain from violence and said they would support constitutional change, decentralising more power to local councils, including over their official language - a key demand of Russian-speakers.

 

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