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Russian Duma Speaker Prods Tajiks On 'Eurasian Integration'

Russian State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin (file photo)
DUSHANBE -- Russian State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin has called on Tajikistan to "become part of the Eurasian integration process."

Talking to students and teachers of the Russian-Tajik University in Dushanbe on October 7, Naryshkin also promised that Tajik citizens will be eligible to obtain three-year work permits in Russia, instead of the current one-year permits.

Naryshkin, who is on a one-day official visit to Tajikistan, was scheduled to meet with President Emomali Rahmon and other Tajik officials before leaving for neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

The Russian Embassy in Bishkek told RFE/RL that Naryshkin will hold talks with President Almazbek Atambaev and visit the Russian-Kyrgyz University in Bishkek on October 8.

Moscow has been pushing Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and other former Soviet republics to join a Russian-led Customs Union, which currently comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Tajik and Kyrgyz services
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