6 Feb 2019 17:27

Russian to remain official language in Kyrgyzstan - president

BISHKEK. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Russian will retain its status as Kyrgyzstan's official language, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov said during a meeting with the faculty and students of Bishkek universities.

"Its status will stay and will not change. We need it," Jeenbekov was quoted by the presidential press service as saying.

"There is a need for multi-lingual education. This is a principle stated in the Constitution. Our citizens should know the state language, the official language, and a world language," Jeenbekov said.

Kyrgyzstan's former prosecutor general Azimbek Beknazarov told reporters on January 16 that over 40 opposition movements had suggested making changes to the Constitution, including changing the status of Russian.

"We need the Russian language, but as a language of international communication, while the Kyrgyz language should be the state language," Beknazarov said.

This new status of the Russian language should be stated in the Constitution, and it should be taught everywhere in Kyrgyzstan along with English, but all official paperwork should be done in Kyrgyz and speeches and events should be in the state language, he said.

The official status of the Russian language was outlined in the Kyrgyz Constitution in the early 2000s.