President Victor Yushchenko has reprimanded the government of Viktor Yanukovych for failing to implement programs to support the national book publishing industry and the Ukrainian language, according to the President`s press-office.

“If we are speaking about how the state programs to support the Ukrainian language and the Ukrainian book are being implemented, my mark will definitely be negative,” he said at a book fair in Lviv on Saturday and added that those in charge of the implementation of these programs “do not respect the book and the language.”

Yushchenko said the Yanukovych cabinet had spent only 2-3% (UAH 21 mln) of this year’s sum to promote the language and develop the book industry. “This shows that the goal of this government is to maximally ignore the Ukrainian book and the Ukrainian language.”

The president pledged to “correct these disproportions” in next year’s budget.

Yushchenko, however, said the national book industry published more books every year, most of them in Ukrainian, but added that the country still imported too many books, making its industry less competitive.

He said the Lviv book fair was “one of the biggest events of the book market in Eastern Europe.”