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Kazakhstan celebrates Independence Day 16 декабря 2014, 16:14

Kazakhstan is celebrating its Independence Day on December 16.
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Photo courtesy of the press service of Akorda Photo courtesy of the press service of Akorda

Today, December 16, Kazakhstan is celebrating its Independence Day. The law on the independence and state sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan was passed on this day in 1991.

One the eve of the 23rd birthday of Kazakhstan's independence, Nursultan Nazarbayev presented awards to distinguished citizens of the country for their contributions to the culture, arts, sports and politics of Kazakhstan. This year, there were 1.5 thousand such people.

After that, he addressed his fellow citizens from the rostrum in Astana Opera theater, where prominent politicians, parliamentarians, artists, famous athletes and the general public gathered to celebrate the event, Tengrinews reports.

"Our new Kazakhstan was born under a lucky star. We are all united and preserved, made stronger and more confident by the great spirit of Independence. It is embodied in every baby born under the clear, sunny sky of Kazakhstan, in every citizen of our country, in every family in Kazakhstan, in each new house, town, and village,” Nursultan Nazarbayev proclaimed.

“It becomes stronger with the growth of our economy, with every new industrial project, with each new highway paved on the endless expanse of our homeland, in each ton of golden wheat collected from our fields. The Independence was hard won by many generations of our ancestors, who defended our sacred land with blood and sweat. The Independence is the unshakable determination of each citizen to defend Kazakhstan, his/her home and homeland, as bequeathed to us by our heroic ancestors, to the last drop of blood," Nazarbayev said.

The President paid special attention to the upcoming celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory over fascism in World War II.

"For us, the memory of the heroism of the war generation is forever sacred. We are the people who treat their past with gratitude and with great forgiveness. Our perception of the past should always be whole and positive, it should unite all the Kazakhstanis, not separate them," Nazarbayev said.

He said that the new century is the time when changes come very fast. "So the two main principles determine the fate of the people. The first is the continuity of generations and values. The second is the dynamic and innovative young nation. We must courageously and worthily make our own history," he said.

He noted that Kazakhstan and Russia had a common historical path dating centuries back. "People say that a man choses both his friend and foe, but a neighbor is given by God. Indeed, God-given we are neighbors with Russia. So it was, so it is and so it will be for our future generations," the President said.

This shared history, continued the Kazakh President, forms a solid foundation for integration within the Eurasian Economic Union today. "Completed is the legalization of the idea I presented 20 years ago. It is becoming a reality, and the Eurasian Economic Union is beginning its activity on January 1, 2015. Now it is the union of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, and Armenia. Hopefully, in the near future Kyrgyzstan will join as well. The new economic union is open to other countries, too," Nazarbayev said.

The President noted that Kazakhstan was also connected with the “millennia of Chinese history."

"Every year friendship and strategic partnership with China are growing. We are reviving the Great Silk Road today, turning the region of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization into a transport trade bridge of Eurasia," the President said.

Nazarbayev said that the upcoming year was a significant one, since Kazakhstan would be celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Constitution and the 550th anniversary of the creation of the Kazakh Khanate.

The President warned the citizens that the unstable political situation in the world and the global financial crisis intensified risks to the global economy. However, he said that sooner or later all crises come to an end.

"Domestic and foreign policy pursued by our country, by all of us comes from the wisdom of our people. This is the wisdom of friendship, support and unity of all the people of Kazakhstan. (…) Independence is the work of everyone,” the Head of State said.

Kazakhstan's President expressed confidence in that the country would overcome the economic crisis, while maintaining the current level of wages and pensions. Kazakhstan will cut budget spending during the crisis but this will not affect social spending, Nazarbayev assured.

“As you know, I have already instructed the government to ensure that all social obligations to the people are fulfilled," Nazarbayev stressed.

He added that the National Bank of Kazakhstan had two important tasks: de-dollarization of the Kazakh economy and transition to inflation rate targeting, which should become part of the new economic policy "Nurly Zhol".

“Protecting and strengthening the unity is the highest virtue,” he said.

After the speech, a concert was presented to the attendees in Astana Opera theater.

Kazakhstanis are enjoying the official holidays on the 16 and 17 December. Many cities hold celebrations and concerts on the Independence Day, finishing it with fireworks in the evening.

By Dinara Urazova

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