The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations announced yesterday that the government had ordered it, "in view of the difficult economic situation in Tajikistan, to send humanitarian aid to the Russian-speaking population in that republic." The ministry is accordingly sending flour, rice, powdered milk, canned meat, sugar, and clothing specifically to Russians in Tajikistan. (Interfax, May 30)Tajik president Imomali Rahmonov this week appealed for international humanitarian relief in connection with recent floods and mudslides in areas around Dushanbe. The Russian authorities tend to use interchangeably the terms "ethnic Russians" and "Russian-speaking population" in the context of relations with the newly independent countries.
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