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Kyrgyzstan Asks For Explanation Of Zhirinovsky Comments

Russian State Duma Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky said the Central Asian states should be turned into subjects of the Russian Federation.
Kyrgyzstan plans to file a protest with Russia over inflammatory statements made by the leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev said on February 25 that Zhirinovsky's latest comments regarding Central Asia "put the issue of Kyrgyzstan joining the [Russian-led] customs union in jeopardy."

Kyrgyz lawmakers have asked the Foreign Ministry to request an official explanation regarding Zhirinovsky's statements.

Kazakhstan issued its own protest to the Russian government on February 24 over the same statements.

On February 23, at a public gathering in Moscow, Zhirinovsky stated that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan should be grouped together as "the Central Asian Federal Region" and turned into subjects of the Russian Federation.

In the past, similar remarks by Zhirinovsky prompted Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to temporarily bar him from entering the country.

Based on reporting by and Interfax