Lengthy Delays Dispatching Containers from Turkmenistan to Russia

Some 20 containers have been stuck at Kipchak station near the Turkmen capital Ashgabat for over six weeks. They all contain the personal effects of citizens of Turkmenistan who have left or are about to leave for Russia. Families are already settled in their new homes, but their possessions are languishing in the container yard in Turkmenistan.

Container from Turkmenistan has just arrived in Moscow. From turkmen.news archives

“We left in just T-shirts, but it was cold when we got here and we haven’t brought any warm clothes with us”, said a source who had moved to Arkhangelsk region in Russia. He said their new apartment was unfurnished and the children had nothing to wear to school.

It’s been impossible to dispatch containers since the start of August, if not before. People are told that Turkmen Railways are not providing flatcars to transport the containers. The turkmen.news source puts this down to the increasing number of people wanting to move permanently from Turkmenistan to Russia.

“There are practically no ethnic Russians left outside the Russian consulate in Ashgabat. It’s only Turkmen who are obtaining their departure documents,” the source said.

At the start of July there were more than 800 surnames on the list of people waiting for migrant status, while between January and April the representative office of the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry in Turkmenistan issued 250 relocation permits, turkmen.news has learned.

Sources in Ashgabat report that the number of people wanting to move to Russia increases every month.

“People sell their property for peanuts: a fully furnished and renovated four-room apartment in downtown sells for $30-32,000,” he said. “Not long ago our neighbors sold their three-room apartment for $26,500, and that was a very good deal.”

According to a source that has moved to Russia, people try to take everything with them rather than buy new when they arrive. It’s impossible to get a good price for anything in Turkmenistan, as people have little money, and the emigrants don’t want to sell their good furniture, bedding, and crockery for a song.

Turkmen Railways often run short of containers too. For example, 10-tonne containers have been written off because they were worn out, while the smaller containers aren’t in the best condition either.

Read more about Turkmen citizens’ desire to emigrate and what it is like to move to Russia in earlier turkmen.news reports.