TAJIKISTAN: YELTSIN, RAKHMONOV WANT CLOSER PARTNERSHIP.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 91
Boris Yeltsin, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and other Russian officials conferred September 7 in the Kremlin with Tajik president Emomali Rakhmonov. According to official accounts, Yeltsin commented that "many things are cause for worry" in that country and that Russia "is also having a difficult time along with Tajikistan" in guarding the Tajik-Afghan border and seeking an inter-Tajik settlement. Chernomyrdin announced that Russia would continue helping create the armed forces of "friendly and sovereign Tajikistan." The presidents signed an agreement instituting dual Russian-Tajik citizenship and a statement calling for accelerated integration among their countries, both bilaterally and within the CIS. The dual citizenship agreement is intended as one of several incentives for Tajikistan’s ethnic Russian population to stay there, rather than returning to Russia. Recently, the Tajik government, and Rakhmonov personally, have also initiated measures to return the Russian language, at least in part, to a privileged position in the country’s school system. As in the case of other former Soviet republics, Moscow seeks to stem a mass repatriation of ethnic Russians, both in order to avoid economic dislocation at home and to retain levers of Russian political influence in the countries concerned. Most of the newly independent countries have thus far managed to resist Moscow’s demands for dual citizenship. (16)
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