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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian-Turkmen Dispute Escalates

The war of words between Turkmenistan and Russia over the disbanding of dual citizenship escalated Thursday as the State Duma threatened the nation with sanctions and the Turkmen government dismissed Russian protests as "propaganda."

Under an order by Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, dual Russian-Turkmen citizens had two months, expiring Sunday, to decide which passport they want to keep -- or they will automatically be considered Turkmen citizens only.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Duma's foreign affairs committee, said the move amounted to "a declaration of war on Russian citizens in Turkmenistan." About 100,000 Russian citizens live in Turkmenistan, according to the Russian Embassy.

Rogozin, who spoke to reporters after closed-door parliamentary hearings on the situation in Turkmenistan, said his committee would put Turkmenistan on a list of nations that Russians are advised to avoid.