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Putin's Peak: Kyrgyzstan Names Mountain After Russian Leader

Feb 18, 2011 – 2:46 PM
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Mara Gay

Mara Gay Contributor

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan have gone to great heights to honor Vladimir Putin, naming one of their country's high peaks after the Russian prime minister.

The Kyrgyzstan Parliament voted nearly unanimously Thursday to name a mountain in the Tian Shan range as the "Peak of Vladimir Putin," Agence France-Presse reported.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Alexey Fruzhinin, AFP / Getty Images
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has yet to comment publicly on the mountain in Kyrgyzstan named for him.
Putin's peak, even at 14,672 feet, is not the highest in the Central Asian country, and at least one lawmaker worried that the prime minister may take offense. "We should give the Russian politician's name not to a 4,000-meter [13,000-foot] mountain but to a taller one," the lawmaker, Nurlan Sulaimanov, said in Parliament, according to AFP. "Otherwise Vladimir Vladimirovich might be offended that we did not value him highly enough."

The Associated Press noted that the mountaintop honor may be designed to generate good will toward the former Soviet country that could bring generous subsidies from Russia.

Not every Kyrgyz leader was on board with naming a peak after Putin, and some said the honor should be reserved for only the country's citizens. "We all respect Vladimir Putin as a strong politician, and Russia ... as a strategic partner. But to name a mountain ... is a wrong decision," said Kamchibek Tashiev, head of the ruling coalition party Ata-Zhurt, according to the Xinhua News Agency. "Why not to name the mountain tops after our great compatriots, such as Chingiz Aitmatov, Suimenkul Chokmorov? I think it would be better to give Mr. Putin the Order of the Manas, or the title of Hero of Kyrgyzstan."

The Russian prime minister has yet to publicly comment on his new peak.
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