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Moscow Activists Protest During Turkmen Leader's Visit

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov waves upon his arrival in Moscow on March 24.
MOSCOW -- The Russian movement For Human Rights held a protest in Moscow urging the Foreign Ministry to help Russian citizens in Turkmenistan, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Movement leader Lev Ponomarev told RFE/RL that the action's goal is to make the Russian Foreign Ministry focus on problems faced by Russians in Turkmenistan.

Many ethnic Russians in Turkmenistan held dual citizenship until former President Saparmurat Niyazov abolished the practice and forced ethnic Russians to choose either Russian or Turkmen citizenship.

Ponomarev said the protest is intentionally scheduled for March 24, when Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov arrives in the Russian capital for talks with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on bilateral economic cooperation and construction of a new Caspian natural gas pipeline.