MOSCOW IS PUZZLED ABOUT ASHKHABAD'S DECISION TO FIND RUSSIAN DIPLOMAS INVALID IN TURKMENIA

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MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned with non-recognition of Russian diplomas in Turkmenia, Valery Loschinin, first deputy foreign minister, told Turkmenian Ambassador in Russia Halnazar Aghanov, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department.

"The Russian side expressed its concern over the measures taken by Turkmenistan regarding the recognition of higher education certificates issued abroad", said a source in the Foreign Ministry.

It applies to the unilateral Turkmenian decision to verify Russian state higher educational diplomas and "invalidation of the diplomas, obtained by the persons who were educated in Russia remotely or in non-state (commercial) higher educational establishments".

"Meanwhile as far back as in 2001 the Turkmenian side was given a draft intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of educational documents between the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan", stressed the Foreign Ministry. It also expressed regret that "Ashkhabad was evading signing of the document".

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that "these measures infringe the interests of those Turkmenian citizens, who were educated in Russia and other CIS states in the Russian language".

"Therefore these measures infringe the rights of the Russian-speaking population. Besides, the activities of the Turkmenian authorities can only lead to increased self-isolation of Turkmenistan and impedance of dialogue with the international community", says the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russia's Foreign Ministry called on the Turkmenian side "to finalize coordination of the Russian - Turkmenian agreement on mutual recognition of educational documents, degrees and academic titles and sign the agreement in the near future".

At the same time, as was explained earlier by the Turkmenian embassy in Moscow, it does not apply to invalidation of the diplomas, obtained by specialists after 1993 outside the republic.

According to the embassy, President Saparmurat Niyazov's decree of August 6, 2001 ordered the Education Ministry of the republic to develop an instruction on recognition of the diplomas of foreign higher educational establishments and verification of their conformity with the speciality, their owners were qualified in.

"It was directed first of all against illegally obtained diplomas", explained the embassy.

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