No matter what Russian authorities might think of the situation in Turkmenistan, the Turkmeni president wins either way
Maybe Human Rights Commissioner Oleg Mironov was not that resolute. Nevertheless, after he had a meeting with the Turkmeni ambassador last Friday, one may think that the Russian government does not see a reason for further trouble regarding Russians in Turkmenistan. Oleg Mironov stated: "The global practice has been trying to cut the number of people holding dual citizenships for decades." One shall assume that Turkmeni President Saparmurat Niyazov is acting on the base of the global experience.
Oleg Mironov said the Turkmeni ambassador had assured him that the people who wished to preserve their Russian citizenship would have an opportunity to obtain residence permits and live in Turkmenistan. Mironov clarified that such people would have all necessary rights, except for the rights to vote and be elected to a government post or to serve in the army.
Answering a question about frequent violations of Russian people's rights in Turkmenistan, Oleg Mironov said that the Turkmeni ambassador had not provided any information on the issue, although he "assumed certain incidents of abuse were likely to take place."
It is not hard to see that the interest to the situation with Russian citizens in Turkmenistan has faded away during the recent couple of weeks. Oleg Mironov has explained the reason of that too: he said there should not be any insults against the Turkmeni president, because it might aggravate the situation. Mironov believes, such things are to be solved only in an official way on the level of deputies, foreign ministry officials and presidents, but "never beyond the framework of competence."
Incidental or not, Saparmurat Niyazov has also released a statement almost simultaneously with pacifying speeches from Russian officials. However, the Turkmeni president did not say anything about the issue of Russians in Turkmenistan. The statement was about the construction of the new pipeline via the territory of Kazakhstan to Russia and then to Ukraine. Niyazov said, he had offered to discuss this issue with the Russian president during the CIS Summit in Yalta. Niyazov believes that there is a strong need of a new pipelinea as the existing pipeline has already reached it's shipping capacity. Additonally, Russia intends to purchase up to 60 billion cubic meters of Turkmeni gas starting in 2007.
In the end, Niyazov has managed to get everything that he wanted. The dual citizenship problem will be solved the way that he wants. Of course Turkmeni authorities will be doing something to please Russia, but Niyazov is perfectly aware of Moscow's interest in the implementation of the 25-year contract for gas deliveries.