The State Duma, parliament's lower house, landslided in a first reading a bill which stipulates for the Cyrillic as the only alphabet to be used by all indigenous languages spoken in Russia.
The bill envisages the law, "On the Languages of Ethnic Entities in the Russian Federation", Clause 3, accordingly supplemented with an item reading, "The official language of the Russian Federation and official languages of the constituent republics thereof shall use alphabets based on the Cyrillic." It will take a new federal law to authorise a particular republic to use another alphabet, if it deems the shift necessary, as the proposed item has it.
"The country will get into chaos if anyone is free to cook up an alphabet," Andrei Loginov, governmental envoy to the Duma, remarked in support of the bill. The written language is part and parcel of the social contract, so it can be determined by legislation, he argued.
The acting federal legislation has a gap in its part which concerns languages and their alphabets. The bill fills in the blank spot, said Anatoli Nikitin of the nationalities committee.
Writing unified throughout Russia will promote its cultural and educational unity, he pointed out in a co-report on the issue.
The house appeared to share the opinions--the bill won 343 votes against a threshold 226, with a mere 15 no's and one abstainer.