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Deputies and alien monastery

If to analyze mutual relations of Russia and CIS countries during the last ten years of their sovereign and independent "swimming" it will be obvious that Turkmenistan caused less troubles to Moscow during these uneasy years than others.

Thus, judge yourself. Russia did not have to allocate financial subsidies for support of Turkmen economy; the republic has not had and has no debts to Moscow.

Russian frontier guards have not been and are not killed in Turkmenistan while defending others' borders. There were no excesses on ethnic or religious ground due to which Russia avoided additional inflow of refugees. Turkmenistan was the first CIS state that signed the agreement on dual citizenship and re-settlers' rights protection with Russia. Moscow did not have to make diplomatic and other efforts to regulate military conflicts with Turkmenistan and her neighbors, as there were no such conflicts.

As a matter of fact, Ashkhabad permanently keeps political loyalty to Moscow and the only thing on which it insists is to take into account the neutral status of Turkmenistan which was legalized at the level of social resolution of UN General Assembly as well as offers equal and mutually beneficial partnership in all spheres of economy.

The only emerged difficulties in bilateral relations were in the sphere of trade-economic partnership, however even these difficulties were mainly caused not by the guilt of this Central-Asian state. Let's take, for instance, Rem Vyakhirev with his awkward gas policy towards the friendly country and with his words "Turkmen people could not escape, they will come themselves" or "the client is not mature" addressed to President of Turkmenistan.

As a result the former head of "Gasprom" had to apologize publicly for offensive attacks and resume gas cooperation with Ashkhabad frozen for two and a half years. It is pity that he was not brought for responsibility for hundred millions of dollars Russia failed to get as a payment for Turkmen gas transit...

Russian-Turkmen partnership improved considerably after pragmatic Vladimir Putin came to power. Thus, the two countries patiently and insistently seek points of contacts for getting mutual profit. Large-scale blue fuel delivery through Russian pipeline system was resumed; the preparation to realization of joint projects is in the process. The recent first session of intergovernmental Russian-Turkmen commission on economic cooperation showed that Ashkhabad and Moscow intend to make a serious step and sign a long-term (till 2020) agreement on strategic partnership in gas sphere. Turkmenistan is ready to give for exploration to the Russian side the prospective hydrocarbon deposits in Caspian shelf and to export its cotton fiber and production from "white gold" to Russia; it invites "Gasprom" and other companies to take part in laying Trans-Afghan pipeline, in construction of roads and other communications in South Asia via territory of Afghanistan.

As Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan said "we open all doors for Russians, we are ready to a large-scale and complex cooperation in mutually beneficial directions". It seems Vladimir Putin also leads the Russian ministries and corporations to dynamic development of partnership with Turkmenistan. The time proved the correctness of the decision on appointment of Igor Yusufov, Russian Energy Minister as the co-chair of the bilateral commission. Thus, the Minister succeeded in negotiations with Turkmenbashi in all key aspects predetermining the further progress of economic relations.

However, it seems that not all Russian officials and deputies are pleased with serious revival of Russian-Turkmen partnership and appearance of impressive prospects. Thus, how to explain, for instance, the provocative (and somehow political) thoughts of Vyacheslav Irgunov, deputy chairman of State Duma committee on CIS affairs and relations with compatriots about alleged plans of not only US but also Russia concerning change of authorities in Ashkhabad and some scenarios of Turkmenbashi "dismissal".

Saying that he does not know "any Russian politician who could find any distinct alternative to Turkmenbashi" and, at the same time, stating on pages of "NG" (10.09.02) that "Turkmenbashi is a difficult case and maybe even a deadlock case for Turkmenistan", Mr. Irgunov offended the whole nation which reposed trust in Saparmurat Niyazov and not, let's say, in Khudaiberdi Orazov, the escaped ex-chairman of Turkmenistan Central Bank, with whom, according to some reliable information, the State Duma deputy is in friendly relations.

It is hardly possible to find any other explanation to his addressing the General Prosecutor of Russia with a request not to take measures for search, arrest and transfer to law enforcement bodies of Turkmenistan of the ex-chief banker of the republic who is under investigation for being accused of criminal cases. Nevertheless, maybe Irgunov believes that his "client" is pursued by political reasons? However it is hardly possible to think that the deputy has no information on this case. As a matter of fact Orazov illegally left Turkmenistan and began trying on the mask of a dissident and representative of opposition in Russia, despite the fact that he was caught "with goods". By the way, making decision on search of Orazov, the Office of General Prosecutor of Russia studied thoroughly the materials offered by Turkmen colleagues about the activity of the ex-banker, which was far from being legal.

Noteworthy that deputy Vyacheslav Irgunov is not alone in his public attacks against legally elected head of Turkmenistan. His colleague Boris Nemtsov who has never been to the republic and probably takes information either from "yellow press" or former officials of Turkmenistan dismissed by Niyazov and therefore keeping mortal offence against the latter, also addresses offensive attacks against Saparmurat Niyazov, gives improper estimations to the incumbent management of the republic and state of its economy, and arrogantly offers ways of Turkmenistan democratization by the recipes of Union of Right Forces.

The both deputies think that there is nothing shameful in calling the Turkmen President "dictator" and applying other similar words unacceptable for state officials.

Therefore, the deputies discredit their own words on support of Vladimir Putin's policy in Near East as well as allow themselves to interfere in internal affairs of a sovereign country without any reasons.

Nobody in Ashkhabad refuses the indisputable fact that Turkmenistan faces definite hardships in development on national economy, interprets the idea of democracy in its own way and builds a society not by Russian, American or any other model. It is enough to listen to at least one TV broadcasting of Saparmurat Niyazov's speech at regular session of Cabinet of Ministers to understand that they are proud of their achievements not hiding the shortcomings. Turkmen people are very wise (everyone who knows them will agree with me), they have centuries-old history and traditions, they aspire to solve their problems themselves. They take into account advises of others but keep doing as they want. They don't like those who try to teach the whole nation "they do as Romans do when they are in Rome".

It will be better if we solve our own problems...

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Viktor Kollesnikov, Journalist "Nezavisimaya Gaze

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