Turkmenistan suspends visa-free travel for Kazakhs living along border

By Dzhumaguly Annayev

ASTANA -- Turkmenistan has suspended visa-free travel for residents of Kazakhstani provinces along the two countries' shared border, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Wednesday (December 21), quoting officials from Mangystau Province, Kazakhstan.

Turkmen authorities have given no reason for their decision.

Ordinarily, residents of Mangystau Province may visit Balkan Province, Turkmenistan, for five days without a visa. However, Turkmenistan has closed the border with Kazakhstan three times since July, including on October 27, when Turkmenistan celebrated its independence day.

The ban began December 15, according to RFE/RL's Kazakh service.

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