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Turkmenistan: Ashgabat Protests 'Slanderous' Attacks By Russian Deputy

Ashgabat, 30 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry today responded to critical comments against Turkmenistan and its leadership made by a deputy in the Russian Duma last week. Duma Deputy Dmitrii Rogozin, who heads the Duma's Foreign Relations Committee, said on 23 May that Turkmenistan supports terrorism, Turkmen government officials are engaged in illegal trafficking, and that a recent decision to cancel a dual-citizenship agreement with Russia was designed to deport the ethnic Russian population from Turkmenistan.

In a statement today, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry protested the "slanderous attacks organized with the help of some Russian mass media."

The statement said Turkmenistan may take action in line with international law, but gave no hint as to what action could be taken.