A special commission has been set up in Turkmenia on the problems of dual citizenship with Russia

The government of Turkmenia is setting up a special commission on regulating the questions connected with the abolition of dual citizenship with Russia. This decision was taken by the President of the republic, Saparmurat Niyazov, on Monday at a Cabinet session.

The Vice-premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rashid Meredov, was appointed head of the commission.

It is worth recalling that on April 10, this year, in Moscow, the Presidents of the two countries - Vladimir Putin and Saparmurat Niyazov - signed a protocol on termination of the agreement on settling the issues of duel citizenship which was concluded in 1993. The protocol is to come into force after appropriate procedures both in Turkmenia and in the Russian Federation.

Ashkhabad conducted these procedures in a very short period of time, and on April 22nd Niyazov signed a decree in accordance with which the persons who have a dual citizenship must choose the citizenship of one of the countries in the course of two months. According to preliminary estimates, the decree concerns from 80,000 to 120,000 Russians, the majority of whom permanently live in Turkmenia.

The negotiations between the Russian and Turkmen Foreign Ministries on June 6-8 on this problem ended with no result.

According to the head of the Russian delegation at the negotiations in Turkmenia, director of the consular service department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Kotenev, "the Russian side continues to regard the agreement on dual citizenship of 1993 as still valid."

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