The law On the State Support of Karelian, Vepps, and Finnish Languages in the Republic of Karelia was passed in the third reading on March, 17 in the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia. By voting (32 placet, and 6 non placet) the law was finally passed.
Till now Karelia was one of the four republics in the Russian Federation that have not accepted regulations of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Federal Law On Languages of Peoples of the Russian Federation and have not developed their own law on languages. In the republic two attempts were undertaken to pass such law in the Legislative Assembly of the Republicof Karelia in 1998 and 2000. Both attempts failured. Actually discussion of necessity of recognition of national languages for Karelia at the state level went on from the end of the 80th.
The passed law does not provide the the state status for Karelian language as it was supposed in the previous bills. It is aimed to preserve, study, use and develop languages of radical peoples of the republic - Karelian and Vepps, and also Finnish language related to them and belonging to the Finnish national minority of Karelia on equal terms. The present law guarantees protection of Karelian, Vepps and Finnish languages by bodies of the Government of the republic, the contents of accepted republican programs and programs of local self-government is concretized, sources of their financing are defined. The law presents spheres of application of the language: language of instruction, education, culture, art, mass media, and the aspect of use Karelian, Vepps and Finnish of languages in activity of the government and local self-government is designated. Providing the right to use these languages for teaching and in education is guaranteed by means of creation of sufficient number of educational institutions and necessary conditions for their functioning. As separate article the right to use the aforesaid languages in names of geographical objects, official signboards, cliches etc. is guaranteed.
The Legislative Assembly of the RK and the State Committee on National Policy plan to hold a presentation of the new law in the districts of Karelia. On March, 25 such presentation will be held in Olonets district.
By the moment of passing the law was translated into Karelian, Vepps and Finnish languages and published in the republican prints released in these languages.