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KAZAKHSTAN'S Foreign Ministry threatened legal action overnight against a British comedian who wins laughs by portraying the central Asian state as a country populated by drunks who enjoy cow-punching as a sport.
Sacha Baron Cohen, who portrays a spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat in his Da Ali G Show, has won fame ridiculing Kazakhstan, the world's ninth largest country yet still little known to many in the West, on British, Australian and US channels.
Cohen appears to have drawn official Kazakh ire after he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle.
"We do not rule out that Mr Cohen is serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way," Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev said.
"We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind." He declined to elaborate.