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Russian Official Apologizes For Kazakh Territory Comment

The parliament speaker in Russia's Khakassia Republic has apologized for a statement he made about Moscow's right to "own" territories in Kazakhstan.

Vladimir Shtygashev said on April 12 that his words had been misinterpreted and he offered "sincere apologies" to everyone offended by his statement.

The media cited Shtygashev saying earlier this week that some territories that used to be part of the Russian Federation had been given to Kazakhstan and therefore can be returned to Russia through referendums.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to Kazakhstan on April 11 for an explanation of Shtygashev's statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said there were some "irresponsible" comments made "by some representatives of Russia's regional bodies" regarding "historical aspects of the Russian-Kazakh relations."
Based on reporting by,, and Interfax

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