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Famous Kazakh Poet Says 'Too Much Independence Dangerous For Kazakhstan'

Famous Soviet-era Kazakh poet Olzhas Suleimenov says "too much independence will be dangerous for Kazakhstan."

Talking to RFE/RL on November 21, Suleimenov said the alliance with "the Great Russia established centuries ago" will be good for Kazakhstan's security.

Answering an RFE/RL question about possible loss of sovereignty by Kazakhstan as a member of Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, Suleimenov said "if we are fully independent that will be a big danger for Kazakhstan."

Suleimenov, once an iconic Soviet poet and linguist, became extremely popular among Soviet minorities in the 1970s, after he wrote a book "Az i Ya," suggesting a Turkic origin of Russia's ancient manuscript "The Tale of Igor's Campaign."

Words from his poem "Earth, Bend to Man!" are inscribed on the tomb of Yury Gagarin -- the first man in space.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."