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Turkmenistan: Russian Passport Holders Pressured to Drop Citizenship

Turkmen Airlines plane, November 2010

Lately, the Turkmen government has been putting the squeeze on Russian passport holders in Turkmenistan, trying to get them to drop their Russian papers and accept Turkmen passports to access the benefits of citizenship, including travel.

Turkmen travel agents have begun posting announcements that starting in July 2013, air tickets for destinations abroad will only be sold upon presentation of the new Turkmen international passport, Chronicles of Turkmenistan (chrono-tm.org) reports.

What this means in practice is that people with dual Russian and old Turkmen passports who try to buy tickets to Moscow at the Ashgabat airport are finding out that they cannot travel without a Russian entry visa. Students trying to travel to foreign universities may be stopped at the border and warned about a travel ban.

People with Russian passports still living in Turkmenistan are increasingly feeling the heat:

“This is another reminder that that we have to make a decision whether to renounce Russian citizenship or leave Turkmenistan for good”, – an Ashgabat resident, a dual national, told chrono-tm.org.

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Turkmenistan: Russian Passport Holders Pressured to Drop Citizenship

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