Home > Daily News > Turkmenistan
From: Justin Burke (JBurke@sorosny.org)
Date: Mon Apr 02 2001 - 10:48:41 EDT

Turkmen head erects fences; criticizes chemicals industry, contract

Turkmen President Saparmyrat Niyazov has issued instructions for wire fences
to be erected along the entire length of the country's borders with
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before the end of this year. Speaking at a
government sitting on 30 March, Niyazov said the fences were needed to keep
out "dishonest people" and prevent Turkmen goods from being smuggled out.
Niyazov also said that the country's chemicals sector was lagging behind
modern requirements, describing it as "backward". He dismissed the chief
of the Turkmen state chemicals and fertilizer concern, Ishanguly
Gulmyradov, for poor performance and said the state chemicals and
fertilizer concern was to be moved from the jurisdiction of the Agriculture
Ministry to the Ministry of Oil and Gas and Mineral Resources, since the
oil and gas sector has more resources to develop the chemicals sector. The
president said contract service in the army was to be ended, since the
country could not afford it. The following are excerpts from the speech, as
broadcast on Turkmen TV later the same day, incoporating passages released
on 30 March:

[Presenter] An expanded meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers was held today,
chaired by President Saparmyrat Turkmenbashy Niyazov of Turkmenistan. It
was attended by representatives of the country's leading ministries and
directorates, and all senior executives of the Turkmendokunhimiya [Turkmen
chemicals and fertilizers] state concern.

[Niyazov shown addressing officials in Turkmen] The reason why I summoned
you is that we can no longer tolerate such work as this. You do not have
enough skills. As a separate sector, the chemical industry has became
backward. We have to grow the chemical sector rapidly. As I pointed out in
my [economic development] programme, we should built another three mineral
fertilizer plants. Gulmyradov [current head of Turkmendokunhimiya concern],
instead of building plants here, is looking for fertilizers in Russia. He
made no effort to build new plants and make profitable deals. Nor did you
put to me any proposals for such things.

[Passage omitted: repeated criticism of Turkmendokunhimiya concern] I am
going to move you from the agriculture sector. You will retain your current
status but I will move you to the oil and gas sector because this sector
has greater potential. Using this potential you can build and upgrade
plants and improve the quality of output, produce new products, like salts,
iodine, fertilizers or anything else. All this needs to be done, of course,
to make the sector profitable. That is the reason why I am moving you from
the agriculture sector.

I am also relieving Gulmyradov of his post. Gulmyradov, you will have the
post of deputy agriculture minister with special responsibility for
fertilizers. You also will be in charge of providing the agriculture sector
with the chemicals necessary for crops and for treatment of livestock

[Passage omitted: concern is to have a council of directors] The reason why
I am subordinating you to the Turkmen oil and gas sector is that Yolly
[Yella] Gurbanmyradov [the deputy prime minister in charge of fuel sector]
will be put in charge of you and will support you. Yolly, you have to build
another three fertilizer plantsin the next two years. Both iodine-producing
plants need to be made profit-making by increasing their output.

[Passage omitted: iodine is in high demand on world markets; each sector
needs to be profit-making; Niyazov recalls recent murder case committed by
children of a top official and calls on senior officials to be hard on
their children]

If you agree, I will appoint Rustam Artykov your chief [of
Turkmendokunhimiya concern]. Until now he has been working hard to revive
the Garabogazgol [sulphur-producing association]. He has good skills where
fertilizers and agriculture are concerned and he is very modest where
finances are concerned. With your consent I appoint him head of the

[Passage omitted: repeats the concern is to have its council of directors;
Artykov to retain his previous post of the head of Garabogazgol

Yolly, you have to supervise the following sectors: oil, gas, geology and
the chemical sector as well, you will be in charge of these spheres. I am
relieving you of your post in the Foreign Economic Relations Bank, in order
to free you up to do this. Your deputy, Guvanchmyrat Goklenov, will take up
the post of head of the Foreign Economic Relations Bank.

 And here we have our border issues too. We have borders on this and on that
side as with the Kazakhs. We have already started to built wire fences on
the borders. You must provide all necessary support for this. Let there be
crossing-points in specified areas. We are not doing this to separate
ourselves from Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan but are doing so to maintain order
on the border, to protect ourselves from violators and dishonest people and
to prevent our goods from being smuggled. There are special crossing-points
to prevent such things, and to ensure permitted and regulated border
crossing on a legal basis. We have this in Koytendag [eastern Turkmenistan]
as well as in other border districts of Lebap Region. Yesterday we started
this [construction of wire fences] in Lebap, and earlier in Dashoguz. You
must finish putting up this fence, all 1,700 km of it, by the end of this
year. We need this to avoid any future dispute between us and to prevent
any violators from entering. As we all are sovereign states, we cannot
keep the borders open any more, for there could be trespassers from third

[Passage omitted: a sovereign state is responsible for its borders; the
National Security Committee should be strengthened]

Let us strengthen the [National] Security Committee. There should not be any
kind of law breaches anywhere, nor violations or anything else which can
threaten people's tranquillity.

And now about regulations on contract servicemen. Can you tell me who are
the ones working on a contract basis? We must abandon this legacy from the
USSR. Let us sort out everything in order not to waste state funds. There
was order during the USSR period before contract service was introduced.
Then why are you making contracts with others when we already have our
soldiers, cadets and educated officers? [Passage omitted: repeats himself]

We can introduce contract service only after 2010 when we will have enough
armaments and our state has become wealthier and when we have advanced
weaponry and a compact mobile army. At present we have enough personnel for
our military equipment. All Turkmenistan's residents who have reached army
service age should be called up to army service. Proceeding from this, we
should recruit 107,000 to 110,000 men every year.

[Passage omitted: some recruits can be used for construction work] You must
pay only those who have special military education, that is commanders from
the top to down and those involved in army management. You should not have
150, or 200 or 300-strong staff in every department. We should have
personnel capable of performing mobile service. You have to pay officers,
but all contract staff should be got rid of completely, do you understand?
I am not going to take this money away from you. You can keep these funds.

[Passage omitted: criticism over misuse of resources; the Defence Ministry
should have the necessary military and technical base] All forms of
contract service should be abandoned also in the Interior Ministry and
State Border Service. Do you understand me? Replace all them by conscripts
and by your officers who get regular payments. There are lot of people who
get paid but do not have any useful work. It becomes a great burden for me
to detect corruption among you. All of you, the ministries of defence and
internal affairs and the State Border Service, all of you should
demonstrate a good example.

[Passage omitted: dishonesty should be eradicated among servicemen; the
Finance Ministry should control use of finances in power-wielding
structures (no details); the chief of the State Tourism Committee is
criticized for shortcomings; transport repair facilities are to be
transferred to the Ministry of Motor Transport; the National Institute for
Statistics and the Ministry of Nature Protection criticized for poor work;
Magtymguly Akmyradov was appointed deputy minister of nature protection;
Annaguly Jumagylyjov was appointed the head of the Kuvvat power engineering
corporation, without explanation; a special government sitting is to be
held at the beginning of April on cultural issues]

 I invite the chief editors of newspapers to that [April] meeting because
there will be discussion of matters concerning them. The same with
television. We are going to launch three TV programmes so if you have any
suggestions, please let us study them beforehand.

[Passage omitted: Niyazov closes meeting; the presenter reads out
presidential decrees and resolutions on appointments - covered]

Source: Turkmen Television first channel, Ashgabat, in Turkmen 1600 gmt 30
Mar 01

BBC Mon CAU 310301/** va/mn

Daily News