Acting Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Jekshenkulov (file photo) (RFE/RL)
MOSCOW, January 17, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz acting Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov, who is on a visit to Russia, met today with members of the Kyrgyz diaspora in Moscow.
Jekshenkulov told them he suggested to his Russian interlocutors that they authorize up to 500,000 Kyrgyz nationals to work in the country this year.
Russia this month started enforcing a decree that drastically limits the number of nonnationals working in the retail trade.
The quota is now set at 40 percent, but it is due to incrementally decrease to zero by the end of the year.
Jekshenkulov said he discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov the possibility of granting citizens of both countries dual citizenship. He said he received encouraging signals from Lavrov.
"Double citizenship is a very difficult issue," he said. "My colleague, Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov, said that it is a difficult question, but he said that, given the relations that exist between our two countries, we may start negotiations on that issue now. I then ordered [our experts] to draft a bill [on dual citizenship] and to give it to Russia so that we could start working on it. The most positive point is that [Russia] did not reject our proposal."
Kyrgyzstan's AKIpress news agency today quoted Lavrov as saying that only citizens of countries that have signed an agreement with Russia are eligible for dual citizenship.
(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, with AKIpress)