Ukraine regards Russia’s attempts to stop the activities of the Library of Ukrainian Literature and create a Center of Slavic Cultures from its resources as a deliberate destruction of the only specialized state institution founded by the Ukrainian community and designed to promote its national, cultural, linguistic, and information needs.
We stress that the library has an extremely unique collection of materials, gathered over decades with the active participation of Ukrainian academics, libraries, institutions, publishers and the Ukrainian community in Russia.
We consider any transformation of this institution unacceptable.
As such, the Ukrainian MFA raised its concerns with the Russian Federation, drawing attention to Russia's obligations under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1 February 1995) and other multilateral and bilateral agreements signed by Russia that guarantee the protection of the ethnic, linguistic, and cultural identity of one of the largest ethnic minorities in Russia.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called on the Russian Federation to preserve the library as a cultural center for millions of Ukrainians in Russia.
Just as Ukraine preserves conditions for the free exercise of minority rights in Ukraine, we expect Ukrainians abroad to enjoy similar measures. We also expect that international human rights structures will properly assess the destruction of the only public institution in Russia serving the Ukrainian minority.
We believe that this category of Russian citizens is entitled to fair and lawful treatment. Ukraine once again urges the Russian Federation to demonstrate civility in its government’s priorities.