2017  N3-4(144-145)
The Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, leader of the LDPR faction in the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vladimir Zhirinovsky has long been one of the notable figures among the long-livers of the Russian political Olympus. It is noteworthy that over his long political career Vladimir Volfovich (orientalist by training) has always followed with interest the development of Russian-Turkmen relations and visited Ashgabat on many occasions over the years of Turkmenistan's independence.
In 2017, Vladimir Zhirinovsky visited Avaza resort on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea at the head of the delegation of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to attend the International Congress "Asian Games 2017: International Sport Cooperation for Peace and Progress". At that time, he was also received by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. At the end of the meeting, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky was awarded Turkmenistan's title of Honorary Elder of the People in a ceremony attended by members of the Russian delegation. In addition, as part of the LDPR delegation's visit at the invitation of the Speaker of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed at Avaza resort on the further development of inter-parliamentary cooperation between members of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
The editors of "Turkmenistan" magazine asked Vladimir Volfovich to share his impressions of the visit and his vision of the process of Russian-Turkmen cooperation. Vladimir Zhirinovsky kindly agreed and provided the editors with the following text:
- We have the most pleasant impressions of the visit to Turkmenistan. The delegation stayed in the city of Turkmenbashi on the shore of the Caspian Sea. This is a magnificent city, a beautiful resort dressed in the white-marble clothes. Such picture provides peace of mind and corresponds in the best way to the neutral status of the country. This is a huge achievement, since only a few countries in the world were able to obtain such status, and Turkmenistan got the support of the UN General Assembly!
We are very grateful to distinguished President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The meeting with him was very informative, and Mr. President himself (we have got convinced of that) is a great friend of Russia. Thanks to this visit and the meeting, we, members of the LDPR, one of Russia's largest and oldest parties, learned more of Turkmenistan, and we were able to estimate the achievements of this beautiful country at their true worth. Everything was perfectly organized, including sports and cultural events, a great concert and many guests.
I am also very grateful for being honored with the title of Honorary Elder of the People. This is a sign of respect by Mr. President and all the Turkmen people. This is a very valuable award for me, because this unusual, unique title is not associated with any specific merits but with respect for the elders who enjoy authority and esteem.
During the visit, we saw the great achievements made by the country in economy, culture and social development. Quality of life has grown significantly, even if compared to 2005 when I was in Turkmenistan last time. People have got used to a healthy lifestyle, something that many other countries are just coming to.
Unlike many other southern countries, Turkmenistan has another advantage. It maintains peace, tranquility and stability, although the political situation in the countries very close to its immediate borders remains troublesome. Undoubtedly, Turkmenistan owns its current successes to the wise leadership of the country. It means that today's Turkmenistan is a very modern, peaceful country that follows its own path of development. This choice deserves deep respect and the highest praise for efficiency. There are no obstacles for the strengthening of Russian-Turkmen interstate relations. Our leaders and parliaments keep regular contacts, and we have common interests in the spheres of energy, gas, transport. This is of great importance for the world economy.
We want Russia and Turkmenistan to have special relations. That is why we are in favor of the further development of the closest inter-parliamentary ties. The LDPR will pay special attention to this.
Our countries have every condition and great opportunities for various types of cooperation. Any Russian specialists will be happy to come to Turkmenistan, if they are needed and invited, and the Russian higher education establishments will happily admit young boys and girls from Turkmenistan who want to get education in our country.
We are very pleased that much attention is paid to the Russian language in Turkmenistan. It is taught in all schools. We witnessed it, as all organizers of our visit from the Turkmen side spoke fluent Russian.
Turkmenistan is also respected in Russia. There was no occurrence of someone in our country saying something negative about Turkmenistan. That is to say, we have ideal conditions for cooperation, even in terms of perception of our countries by citizens. There is only bright future for us, and I believe we will all together rejoice at the fact that there is Russia and there is Turkmenistan and we are good neighbors to each other.
I sincerely wish that Turkmenistan would continue flourishing and developing, because this is a remarkable country led by an outstanding leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. We were happy to visit Turkmenistan. We left the country with the greatest impressions of what we saw there. We will continue making our contribution to ensuring even closer cooperation and friendship between our two countries.