Some Russians want to stay in Turkmenistan

There is no migration boom among Russian citizens living in Turkmenistan, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Fedotov said when speaking at the parliamentary hearings in the State Duma.

The number of applications for Russian citizenship has not changed significantly in 2003, he said.

According to the ministry, their number was 1,319 in March, 1,371 in April, 1,671 in May, and 1,612, 1,554, and 1,321 in September, October and November respectively.

The Turkmen side has repeatedly stated that the rights of Russian citizens in the republic are not violated and will be upheld in the future, Fedotov pointed out.

The observation of Russian citizens' rights has been the subject of "numerous phone talks between the two countries' presidents", he emphasized.

The deputy minister recalled that under the presidents' instructions a bilateral commission for dual citizenship had been set up in June 2003. Its first session was held in July.

However, the commission's next session scheduled for September-October did not take place.

Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry intends to maintain the dialogue with the Turkmen leadership on observing human rights, as well as to continue abiding by the Agreement on settling the dual citizenship issues of 1993, Fedotov said.

"The rights of over 100,000 Russian citizens living in Turkmenistan should be fully complied with," he emphasized.

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