Armenia Refuses Russian

Armenia flag
Armenia flag

Despite Russian leaders’ suggestions, Armenian politicians hold firm on opposition to Russian becoming an official language of Armenia. In July, Vyachaslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s State Duma suggested to Armenia that they grant Russian official status as an Armenian language. The suggestion is supposedly in hopes of clearing up a problem with Armenian driver licenses deemed invalid in Russia.

Armen Ashotyan, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia told the press that the Armenian language-policy hasn’t and won’t change. He went on to state that the refusal to accept Russian as an official language was purely constitutional, saying “There is no similar issue in Armenia even under the Council of Europe’s Language Charter. There are no legal and political reasons to comment on this issue from this perspective as well. The issue over an official, constitutional status is out of the question.”

While Armenia will remain the only official language of Armenia, Russian is still in the lead as the most common foreign language spoken in Armenia, with a 2010 Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs report stating that about 70% of Armenia’s population has the ability to speak Russian. The population also views speaking Russian as important, as according to the Gallup Organization’s poll, 75% of Armenians in 2007 said tha they think it is very important for children in the country to learn Russian.

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