Turkmenistan’s parliament adopted December 27 a law "On Turkmenistan’s Permanent Neutrality." Proposed by President Saparmurat Niyazov, the law stipulates that Turkmenistan will permanently adhere to its neutral status, recently enshrined at the United Nations. The country shall not join any military or political-military blocs or alliances that entail collective responsibilities or obligations of member countries. The law further provides that Turkmenistan rejects, and will not participate in, the use of economic pressure for political ends. The parliament also amended the constitution by incorporating provisions on the country’s permanent neutrality. (14)
Some of the language in the law appears designed to fend off possible Russian pressures to join a Russian-dominated alliance, as recently adumbrated by Boris Yeltsin and other Russian leaders. On December 12, at Turkmenistan’s insistence, the U.N. General Assembly voted without opposition to endorse Niyazov’s declaration from the Assembly’s rostrum that Turkmenistan had chosen for itself the status of a permanently neutral country.
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