Kazakh cabinet banned from speaking Russian

Kazakh cabinet banned from speaking Russian

A ban on speaking Russian in Kazakhstan's cabinet meetings took effect yesterday.

The country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered all parliamentary hearings to be held in Kazakh, saying those who are not fluent must be provided with simultaneous translations.

But in Tuesday’s meeting, broadcast live on state television, only one participant in the chamber, Education Minister Yerlan Sagadiyev, was permitted to speak Russian. Exceptions were also made for provincial officials who joined via videolink, Reuters reported.

Nazarbayev is fluent in both languages and switches between them in his speeches.