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Commonwealth Of Independent States Agreement

Russia insisted that the Russian language be given official status in all CIS member states. So far, Russian is the official language in only four of these countries: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Russian is also considered the official language of the Transnistrian region and the Autonomous Region of Gagausia in Moldova. Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-backed presidential candidate in the controversial 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, has declared his intention to make Russian a second official language of Ukraine. However, candidate Viktor Yushchenko, the winner, supported by the West, did not do so. After his election as president in 2010, Yanukovych declared (on March 9, 2010) that “Ukraine will continue to promote the Ukrainian language as the only state language.”

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