Ukraine to ban officials from using the term “Armenian Genocide”

Ukraine’s Deputy foreign Minister said the 1915 mass killings were “tragic events”

On her Facebook page, Ukrainian MP Darya Volodina has published a photo of a letter by the country’s deputy foreign minister Vasyl Bodnar who was addressing the state officials before the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. In his letter, Bodnar says that, since Ukraine does not recognize such notion as the ‘genocide of Armenian people”, the preferred term regarding the mass killings of 1915 is “the tragic events that happened on April 24, 1915 in the Ottoman empire.”

According to Bodnar, there are political reasons behind this position of the foreign ministry: Armenia, he says, “is in the wake of the Russian foreign policy”, regularly voting against resolutions that are critical for Ukraine, whereas Turkey is Ukraine’s strategic partner. Based on that, the deputy foreign minister of Ukraine asks the officials not to participate in memorial events dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, nor use the term in their speech. 

Twenty-three nations have so far recognized the fact of genocide of Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire, so did the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches. Back in 1995, the State Duma of Russia adopted a regulation condemning the Genocide of Armenian people in their ancestral homeland, West Armenia, from 1915 till 1922.

Turkey has a long history of denying any accusations of committing the Armenian Genocide, showing a pained and sensitive reaction to the Western critic. Ankara insists that the world would rather stop qualifying the 1915 events as “genocide” since victims were both Armenians and Turks. Turkey requests that an international commission of historians should be formed to study documents accumulated in the country’s archives, so that they could work out an “unbiased” approach to the events of WWI.

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