BISHKEK, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted on Wednesday to recommend their nation’s Foreign Ministry declare populist Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky persona non grata in the central Asian state, after remarks he made about a deal to cancel Bishkek’s debts to Moscow.
Zhirinovsky, speaking earlier at a session of the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, proposed Kyrgyzstan should give Russia its picturesque Issyk Kul lake in the north of the country, after Moscow agreed to write off Kyrgyzstan’s almost half-billion dollar debt.
That prompted Kyrgyz opposition party Ata-Zhurt to call for him to be banned from visiting the country.
Sixty seven out of 120 Kyrgyz MPs voted in favor of the motion on Wednesday. However, almost half of Kyrgyzstan’s lawmakers spoke out against declaring Zhirinovsky persona non grata, as they said it could spoil relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
Zhirinovsky, leader of the nationalist LDPR party, has a long history of making inflammatory remarks about neighboring states, the Western powers, immigrants and rival politicians.
Last September, during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan, Moscow and Bishkek signed a number of deals including an agreement on maintaining Russian military bases in the Central Asian state and on settling Kyrgyzstan’s debt to Russia.