Russian Language Becomes Official In Kyrgyzstan

President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev is going to sign an amendment to the Kyrgyz Constitution, which will give the Russian language the official status, in Bishkek on Monday. Earlier, the country's parliament made a decision, by the overwhelming majority of votes, to give the Russian language the official status in Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz presidential press service reported that Russian ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Georgy Rudov, the heads of ORT and RTR TV channels as well as representatives of other Russian media have been invited to the ceremony of signing by the head of state of the parliamentary decision to make the constitutional amendment. The deputies of the Kyrgyz parliament made amendments to article 5 of the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan pertaining to the status of the Russian language. After the signing by Akayev of this amendment all official documents in the country will be written in two languages -- Kyrgyz and Russian. While being admitted to state service Kyrgyz citizens will not necessarily need to know the Kyrgyz language. A number of the Kyrgyz parliamentarians -- the authors of this amendment to the Constitution -- believe that giving the status of the official language to Russian will tangibly reduce, if not stop at all, the flow of Russian speakers out the country, which considerably increased over the past two years.

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