Having visited Turkmenistan, Vladimir Zhirinovskiy, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, admitted that his opinion of this country and its president was rather inadequate. According to him, he was pleasantly surprised at what he saw in Turkmenistan.
Talking to journalists after the meeting with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, Vladimir Zhirinovskiy shared his impressions with his inherent emotionality. We would like to take advantage of this opportunity to quote the monolog of Vladimir Volfovich in full so that our readers could compare his statements with those he made earlier. Especially since this monolog is another evidence of the proverb that it is better to see once than hear one hundred times...
"It was a great meeting with one of the outstanding persons, Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. This was our first such meeting and I have the most pleasant impressions. We discussed all issues of foreign policy and relations with Russia, CIS and other countries, issues of Islam, all economic and social problems. All that we learned from the President of Turkmenistan inspires us. Economic indicators and a model are great. All former Soviet republics should follow this model. The achievements are evident as well as the market economy, democracy, unity of the nation, moral values and real economic growth. There is, probably, cheapest petrol in the world. All motor-car enthusiasts, the happiest drivers in the world, must certainly live in Turkmenistan. There are grandiose roads, palaces, buildings. Foreign capital makes contribution but interests of the people of Turkmenistan and national entrepreneurs are not hurt. The tax system is just great. This is an example. Taxes were reduced to 2% and this trend is continuing.
And agriculture! In Russia, I have been pressing to remove virtually all taxes for a number of years. And here we have subsidies and other kinds of support, assistance in the form of equipment and cash. They pay for grains in advance. Let's look at the markets here. They are clean thanks to private traders. And foodstuffs are great: meet and industrials goods. In other words, everything is just fine. We, outside Turkmenistan, simply lack information about your beautiful country and its leader. He is a nice, democratic and highly intelligent man. He has great experience. In Soviet times, he was chairman of the government and worked in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR. This was the supreme power in the USSR. That is why it is a great luck for the Turkmen people to have such a leader.
In fact, we see with our own eyes the achievements of your country. There is a magnificent airport, hotels, a palace and everything else in the country. And horse breeding! This is a revived branch of economy. This is the national achievement. It is not just about breeding of horses. The entire world knows Ahalteke breed of Turkmen horses. Or carpets! I am proud that Mr. President presented me with one beautiful carpet. It will lie in my house for ever. My children and grandchildren will remember that this is the present from the President of Turkmenistan. And quality! We are perfectly aware that these are not Bohara but Turkmen carpets. And, of course, Caspian Sea and tourism. There is also a splendid hotel there and conditions for tourism development. This is a happy republic. A happy land in Asia, and even on the European scale. Crime rate is the lowest one. Amnesty is great. Almost two third of prisoners were pardoned. Any country in the world can envy it. They release some 1-2% of convicts. And here, 70% were freed and I am sure this will not lead to the growth in crime rate in no circumstances. These people repented and will go home.
In other words, all deeds of your president and members of the parliament, executive power, will have only positive effect. This is the model not only for the former USSR republics but also for Russia and other world countries. Turkmenistan might rightly lead Non-Alignment Movement. Foreign policy, policy of the positive neutrality is a new technology in international politics and is surely a successful trend. This is the best model of neutrality. Any blocks can only hold back and constrain and give birth to hatred leading to the collapse. As for a neutral state, it is on friendly terms with everybody and maintains good relations with every country. In all, this is the model. And I want to wish further progress to the Turkmen people on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of independence. And let all Turkmens know that many people are jealous of you. They are jealous of your life, the opportunity to work, have homes to live in and receive education. They envy your efficient tax system and security, reliability, people's unity. We visited mausoleum this morning. Very impressive. This is a tribute to ancestors, relatives and a family. This is sacred to people. This is not a Soviet ideology advocated by certain people in Russia. This is something that is close to a man. This is great. Religious issues are within reasonable limits. We know that people are religious here. There are mosques but no fanaticism here, no excesses, no extremism. Everybody talks about terror. But where is this terror? Everything is good and quiet in Turkmenistan. If the country enjoys tranquility, then there is no terror. This is fiction. There might be some problems in poor Afghanistan. But here, everything is good. The country is prosperous. I wish long life to Saparmurat Niyazov. We are grateful for the invitation and happy to attend celebrations. We will come every year. We will not only work but have rest as well. Let more people come here to rest and see performances of the beautiful horses that are famous in the world and all other achievements of Turkmenistan. This is great. I congratulate all of you on the holiday."
(Based on the report by "VATAN" program of the National TV of Turkmenistan)