MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. The number of Russian speakers across the globe has gone down by 50 million in the past 25 years, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Monday.
“The number of Russian speakers in the world has decreased by 50 million, in the past 25 years. This tendency continues. In the former Soviet Union, the entire population spoke Russian. In the past 25 years, the elder generation has gone and the younger generation is not all-round Russian-speaking. More to it, the Russian language used to be a compulsory school subject in Eastern Europe, now it is not,” Vyacheslav Nikonov, chairman of the education and science committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said after a meeting between speaker of the Federation Council upper house, Valentina Matviyenko, with a group of school teachers who will work at secondary schools in Tajikistan.
According to Nikonov, this tendency is irreversible, since the Russian language is spoken only where it is part of the educational system. He noted however that more people speak Russian outside Russia that inside it. “At least, these are commensurate figures,” he said.
“All depends on us. We must expand the geography of our Eurasian Union. We must exert efforts where possible. For instance, there are countries with high demands for the Russian language, such as Tajikistan, Moldova, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan,” he noted.
According to the Duma education and science committee, as many as 350 million people spoke Russian before the collapse of the former Soviet Union.