Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 68

Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry has reaffirmed the country’s independence in a statement reacting to the March 29 Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan agreement on "deeper integration" and the April 2 formation of a Russia-Belarus SSR. The statement stressed that Turkmenistan regards the CIS as a multi-optional consultative organization; stays out of "any rigid multilateral organizations, let alone those with supranational tendencies;" and "sees no prospect of changing its position or the level of its participation in the CIS." The statement stressed that Turkmenistan’s neutrality, enshrined in its constitution last year and recognized by the UN at President Saparmurad Niyazov’s initiative, precludes the country from joining any bloc. (Interfax, April 5)

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