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Ukrainian Lawmakers Approve Language Quotas For TV, Radio

If the new legislation is signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, language quotas would be in place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day. (illustrative photo)

Lawmakers have approved a bill that would require Ukrainian television and radio stations that broadcast nationwide to have at least 75 percent of their programming in the Ukrainian language.

The bill was supported by 269 lawmakers in its second and final vote in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada on May 23.

The legislation, which would amend laws on broadcasting, culture, and languages, will become law if signed by President Petro Poroshenko.

The issue is controversial among Russian speakers in Ukraine, and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine claim Kyiv is deliberately curtailing the use of the Russian language. Kyiv denies the allegation.

The legislation would also require local and regional TV and radio stations to have 50 percent of their content in Ukrainian.

It would not affect foreign-based broadcasters, but would require foreign films aired on Ukrainian television channels to carry Ukrainian subtitles.

The language quotas would be in place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

With reporting by Interfax and UNIAN