SOFIA Bulgaria applied on Monday to register an
Internet domain name in Cyrillic script as part of efforts to
boost national pride amid a growing influence of English.
The Balkan country of 7.7 million people last year won the
right to spell the euro common currency as "evro" according to
Cyrillic rules after threatening to block several European
Union diplomatic initiatives.
With Bulgaria's accession to the EU in January last year,
Cyrillic became the third official alphabet in the bloc after
Latin and Greek. The Black Sea country sees the script as part
of its national identity.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has also called for his
country to be assigned a Cyrillic Internet domain as the
Kremlin is concerned that Russian, once the main language
throughout the Soviet Union, is losing ground to local
Bulgaria's State Agency on Information technologies and
Communications said in a statement that the Balkan country had
become the first to officially request the registration of a
Cyrillic domain name.
Sofia wants its domain name to be .bg, written in Cyrillic
script. Bulgarian Internet sites use domain names in the Latin
script, as in most parts of the Internet.
The agency said it will invite all countries that use the
Cyrillic alphabet to a conference in Sofia this autumn to
discuss domain names. These include Belarus, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
(Reporting by Anna Mudeva; Editing by Richard Balmforth)