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Kazakhstan Foreign Minister on adoption of the Latin alphabet

25 january 2013, 23:14
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At a press-conference in Moscow today Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov dispelled Russia’s concerns over alleged geopolitical shifts behind Kazakhstan’s decision to have the language shifted to the Latin alphabet.

“It is a planned move. We have been talking about it for quite a while. President broached the subject 5-10 years ago. We are applying a civilized approach, planning related expenses (…) the point is not to lose the cultural heritage, at the same time getting Kazakhstan prepared for the 21 century environment. I ask you to help us dispel myths about alleged geopolitical shifts. There is not even a minor sign of such shifts taking place”, the Minister said when answering a question from an attending journalist.

The Minister reminded that back at the dawn of the Soviet era Mr. Lunacharsky [a mastermind of the Soviet education system] actively promoted introduction of the Latin alphabet in the Soviet space.

“Another interesting fact that an idea of Russian language adopting the Latin alphabet has been recently developed within the Moscow State University (…) One may see some geopolitical reasons for such suggestions. For Kazakhstan it is an informed choice and the steps are well-thought-through”, the Minister added.

In response, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov jokingly said Russia would never adopt the Latin alphabet as it lacks Ё and Й letters.

“My Kazakh counterpart is right referring to Mr. Lunacharsky. Before 1940 the Kazakhs relied on the Latin alphabet. And we did hear President Nazarbayev’s earlier remarks that the move has nothing to do with changing geopolitical preferences”, Minister Lavrov said.

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