Kazakhstan has protested to the Russian government over statements by the leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
A spokesman for the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said on February 24 that "measures of a diplomatic character are being considered against the Russian lawmaker."
On February 23, at a public gathering in Moscow, Zhirinovsky called for creation of what he called Russia's "Central Asian Federal Region," with a capital that should be known as "Verny."
"Verny" is an old Russian name for what is now Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty.
Zhirinovsky, who was born and grew up in Almaty, also said in his remarks that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan should be grouped together as subjects of Russia.
In 2005, similar remarks by Zhirinovsky prompted Kazakhstan to temporarily bar him from entering the country.
Based on reporting by KazTAG and Kazinform