Moscow Worried By Turkmen Side's Unilateral Activities

Russian first deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loshchinin, while speaking Saturday over the phone with Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, expressed "serious concern about the unilateral and hasty activities of the Turkmen side in connection with the invalidation of the agreement on dual citizenship between our countries." This was reported by Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko. In his words, "the Russian side has not yet ratified the protocol to the agreement on dual citizenship of 1993." In this connection the Russian foreign ministry believes that "this agreement is still valid", the diplomat said. He also emphasized that "the protocol is not retroactive, so those citizens who earlier received dual citizenship must retain it in the future." The day before the Turkmen ambassador to Moscow was invited to the Russian foreign ministry. He was told Russia had "serious concern about the unilateral and hasty actions" of the Turkmen side in regard to that protocol.

In light of the signing in Moscow on April 10 of the protocol on the invalidation of the Agreement between Russia and Turkmenistan on the Settlement of Dual Citizenship Issues of December 23, 1993, Turkmenistan has adopted a number of statutes, for instance, the Turkmen President's decree and a relative resolution.

The Russian foreign ministry noted that "a particular concern" during the meeting was expressed in view of the provision contained in the decree, which says that persons who have dual citizenship have two months to choose one of the two. Moscow believes that "the realization of this provision will deal a serious blow to the interests of our compatriots in Turkmenistan and infringe on their fundamental rights." The Russian foreign ministry is of the opinion that "all this might have a far-reaching effect, including on the international scene."

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