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    KYRGYZ PRESIDENT: KYRGYZSTAN WILL NEVER GIVE UP RUSSIAN LANGUAGE

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    BISHKEK, March 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Yulia Orlova). The development of the Russian language in Kyrgyzstan is important economic and political task, Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev said at the international Russian language congress in Bishkek on Thursday.

    According to Akayev, the Russian language has never lost its positions in the republic. It has the status of the official language and is protected by the Kyrgyz Constitution. Kyrgyzstan lives in the informational space of the Russian language: there are hundreds of Russian newspapers and several major TV and radio channels in the Republic, the President stressed.

    "I would like to destroy myths and disputes" around the adoption of the law on the Russian language as the second state language in Kyrgyzstan, Akayev said.

    "Today the role of the Russian language is growing in all spheres of cooperation on the Eurasian space and it would be a mistake and irreparable loss to give it up. We shall never do that," the Kyrgyz leader said.

    The Russian language experts, public figures and university heads from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Russia and Tajikistan participate in the congress entitled "The Russian language in the CIS community". The congress opening ceremony took place in the grand hall of the state philharmonic society. The participants are to discuss language policy, bilingual and multilingual problems in the CIS.

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