The situation of the “Russian-speaking population” in Kyrgyzstan has “changed for the better,” said Slavic Culture Foundation President Valery Vishnevsky yesterday at the opening of Slavic Culture Days, an event sponsored by Russia and Belarus in Bishkek. But the situation would be “even better” if Kyrgyzstan confers official status on the Russian language and introduces dual Russian-Kyrgyz citizenship for the “Russian-speaking population,” Vishnevsky stated. The Slavic Culture Foundation will campaign for these goals–which it chooses to describe as “civic, rather than political”–in the next parliamentary elections. (Russian agencies, April 23).
Described as “head of the Slavic diaspora” in Kyrgyzstan, Vishnevsky recently announced that the Slavic Culture Foundation actively participates, with the Communist Party and the Movement for Unity and Brotherhood of the Peoples of the USSR, in the ongoing signature collection campaign for Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Russia-Belarus Union. Even that, however, would presumably leave room for further improvement, since the organizers of this campaign in Kyrgyzstan regard the Russia-Belarus Union as a “foundation for a renewed USSR.” (Russian agencies, April 15. See also Monitor, March 31). — VS
BELGIUM AND KAZAKHSTAN CONSOLIDATE ECONOMIC RELATIONS.