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Russia Concerned By Pension Cuts In Turkmenistan --> Turkmen President Niyazov (file photo) (RFE/RL) 10 February 2006 -- Russia today expressed concerns over new pension laws in Turkmenistan that strip over 100,000 people of their pensions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the new pension law "raises numerous questions" because it also affects thousands of retired Russian citizens. Many ethnic Russians in Turkmenistan have dual citizenship.

The statement says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has discussed Moscow's concern about the issue with his Turkmen counterpart, Rashid Meredov.

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov announced the cuts on 25 January, linking the decision to statistical errors in the number of Turkmen citizens eligible for pensions.

Critics have linked the decision to shortcomings in the state pension fund.

Human rights advocates say the move will create problems for Turkmen families that had been relying on one pension.


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