BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to immortalize Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin by naming a mountain in his honor, in a move to reinforce ties with former imperial master Moscow.
The nation's legislature held three rapid-fire votes within just one minute to name a 4,446-meter peak in the Tien Shan mountains after Putin, a brawny black belt in judo also known for his fondness for skiing.
The government's motion to name the mountain after the former KGB spy, officially said to have originated from local farmers in the Chuy region, aims "to immortalize the name of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."
It would also "cement friendly ties between Kyrgyzstan and Russia," the parliament said in an explanatory note.
Putin Peak is substantially higher than the 3,500-meter Yeltsin Peak in the nearby Issyk Kul region, but the two mountains are dwarfed by the 7,134-meter Lenin Peak on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.