Ukraine is going to pass a bill shortly that would make both Ukrainian and Russian official state languages, the eastern-European country's President Viktor Yanukovich told Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency. “Ukraine is interested in that, and people, the population speaking generally two tongues – Ukrainian and Russian – is interested in that,” he said. He admitted that earlier there were “periods of time in the country” when there was certain misbalance in terms of languages. However, now there is no longer such a problem in Ukraine, he added, stressing that the issue should be regulated on a legislative level. He referred to a number of European countries having two or three official languages that “live normally, in peace.” During the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, the official fight against the Russian language was widespread in Ukraine. The language was banned from all government institutions. Things started to change with Yanukovich, who advocated the idea of improving the country’s ties with Russia after winning the election in 2010. However, a year ago the Venice Commission of the European Council insisted that accepting the Russian language as the second official language in Ukraine would be a violation of Ukraine’s constitution. According to the draft bill On Languages, while more than 60 per cent of Ukraine’s population are ethnic Ukrainians, more than 60 per cent of the population use Russian for everyday communication; the country was expected to become officially bilingual. The bill, put forward in 2010, was hotly debated in Ukraine, and was then sent for examination to the Venice Commission.