Since midJuly Ashgabat municipal and regional representation offices of Turkmenistan's State Migration Department have been accepting documents to issue international travel passports to Turkmen nationals who also hold Russian citizenship obtained after June 2003. Huge queues are being formed in front of local Migration offices.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays residents also queue up front of the Russian Consulate Office in Ashgabat. The problem is that over the course of many years the Russian Consulate has not been putting registration stamps in Russian passports obtained by citizens to replace those which had expired. Only certificates were issued.
Turkmenistan's Migration Office refuses to acknowledge these certificates and demands that a registration stamp should be put in the Russian passport issued by the Consulate. In particular, such requirements are imposed during a document acceptance procedure at customer service desk ?14 of Ashgabat office of the Migration Department.
In conversation with a correspondent of Chronicles of Turkmenistan a dual national who was trying to get a stamp in his Russian passport pointed out that the Consulate is open for visitors only on Tuesdays and Thursdays for two hours from 3.30 to 5.30 p.m.
When I went there on Thursday, there were about 150 people in the queue. However, the Consulate staff were still issuing only certificates. We were informed that we should resolve the issue with the Turkmen side on our own. I saw one of the visitors tearing a certificate issued to him and throwing the pieces at an employee of the Consulate, an eyewitness said.
A retiree from Bairamali also complained about queues and the couldnotcareless attitude towards visitors to the Consulate.
There are people like me who are forced to travel from the provinces. Moreover, people are suffering from the heat wave. I saw one person faint. Why can't a Consul extend the working hours in the situation of extreme urgency? Why is there a lack of understanding between the Migration offices of the two countries and why do residents have to deal with this on their own? a puzzled male visitor asks.
The availability of a stamp does not guarantee that Turkmenistan's Migration Office will accept documents. There might be other reasons for refusals. For instance, two young men failed to submit documents because they had not served in the Turkmen armed forces.
Let us recall that on 5 July Radio Azatlyk reported that Turkmenistan had started accepting documents to issue Turkmen international travel passports to dual nationals. Later Russia's Foreign Ministry announcedthat efforts were being undertaken to issue passports to dual nationals. At that time, no largescale acceptance of documents was recorded.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan