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13.12.2002

Ukrainian language disappeared from the FM-air of Odessa

   

The National Council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting of Ukraine again demonstrated a strange attitude. In Odessa, where the FM Ukrainian-language transmissions were infrequent, the Odessa oblast state radio company "Radio na Troitskiy" was deprived of the license. The license was passed to the Russian-language station "Armenian radio-Ukraine" registered in Kyiv. In spite of the fact that two "Armenian radios" operate in Odessa, none of them has any relation to the Armenian diaspora in the Odessa oblast. According to the monitoring conducted by the Odessa representation of the National Council in April-May, the "Armenian radio" broadcasts in Russian (98.9%) and in Armenian (1.1%).

11 TV and radio companies from Odessa, Kyiv, Donetsk and Kharkov took part in the contest for the FM frequency.

The Odessa oblast radio, according to its editor-in-chief Sergey Komar, had the priority right for the license, since it had already operated on that frequency. Besides, it broadcast in Ukrainian, thus fulfilling the orders of the National Council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting concerning the language.

That is why the decision about the license was unexpected. Besides, a request about rendering an FM-frequency must be considered during a month, but not during a year, as it happened this time.

The personnel of the Odessa oblast state radio company turned to the President of Ukraine with their complaint.

Sergiy Komar, the editor-in-chief of the Odessa oblast radio informed:

"We disagree with the decision of the National Council. We have already prepared the claim to the economic court of Kyiv.

We believe that our rights were abused. It is abnormal, when a Ukrainian-language state radio company has to fight for its right to broadcast in court.

FM-frequencies were the only promising perspective for developing the oblast radio, which has been existing for more than 70 years. IN October 1999 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma personally congratulated us with our 70-year anniversary.

Now we turned to the President with the request to endorse us in these difficult times, to help us to save our radio company. That is strange that such illegal decision was taken on the eve of the Constitution Day".

If the decision of the National Council remains operable, the Ukrainian language will completely disappear from the Odessa FM-air. The personnel of the oblast radio company is sure that the Odessa air will not work for the Ukrainian national interests.

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