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№1 (162) 18 - 31 January 2006

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Kazakhstan: Politics economics, society      
Religious hope for a better future
Kazakhstani government has officially acknowledged that Islamic Kurban- ait and Orthodox Christmas should become the national holidays. This novel produces quite an ambiguous impression. On the one hand, it is a curtsey towards all believers and a gesture of a good will , which emphasizes the importance of peaceful coexistence of two Kazakhstani major confessions. They are Islam and Orthodox Christianity. On the other hand, new decree of the president is a serious shift in the internal policies, since until now Kazakhstan has been a secular state. This principle is sealed by the Constitution. We do not intend to insult devout Muslims or the Orthodox Christians, but mostly Kazakhs are secular people by nature. This trend is a heritage of the Soviet past and until now this status quo has been regarded as one of the advantages of the national political system.
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Under pressure of the gas row
Scandalous gas squabble between Russia and Ukraine shocked the world community by uncivilized methods used by Kiev and Kremlin in their short battle, vaguely articulated goals of both parties and obscure results achieved by the rivals in the energy war.

Kazakhstan: Politics economics, society
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