RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AS FACTOR OF EURASIAN INTEGRATION

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MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian language might become one of the factors of integration on the Eurasian space, announced Kazakh Ambassador to UNESCO, well-known Kazakh writer Olzhas Suleimenov during a press conference on the prospects of Russia's relations with Turkic republics of the former Soviet Union, held yesterday.

"During the years of independence, republics of the former Soviet Union distanced themselves from each other, although many retained friendly relations. Therefore, it will be a great mistake if the Russian language is lost as a language of communication between brotherly peoples," he said.

As an example, Mr. Suleimenov mentioned Europe, which had been actively forming unified economy, bringing different cultures closer together, but still does not have a common European language.

"This problem has a negative effect on Europe's unification and hinders its full-fledged integration," Mr. Suleimenov believes.

"We have had a common language for a long time and to lose it, as it happens in some of the former Soviet republics, is to impoverish our own cultures, because in the future the Azeri, the Kazakh and the Uzbek peoples will have to maintain neighborly ties with Russia in any case," he said.

Mr. Suleimenov expressed confidence that the Russian language would help uniting Turkic and Slavic peoples, which in the past had influenced all historically important events in Northern Eurasia.

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