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Ukrainian President Critical Of Russian-Language Broadcasting Ban

22 April 2004 -- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma says a recent ban by a government agency of Russian-language radio and television programming is unconstitutional.

Kuchma today said during a visit to the Crimean peninsula that the decision should be "reviewed," although it was not immediately clear whether he was calling for it to be revoked or amended.

Reports say that up to half of Ukraine's 48 million people call themselves Russian speakers, and about 25 percent are ethnic Russians.

Until now, many Ukrainian television and radio stations have broadcast both in Russian and Ukrainian.

Kuchma is to hold talks in the Crimea today and tomorrow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AFP, AP)