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Russia seeks efficient immigration system
May 22, 2013, 5:34 am

[Getty Images]

[Getty Images]

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says Russia needs migrant labour, but immigration should be under tight control.

“We are living in the period when the demographic situation is complicated, when we need additional labor force. Russia is unlikely to be able to fully overcome its demand for migrants in the coming years and decades,” Medvedev said in the interview to the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

Migration in Russia is a burning issue, with silent protest and indignation rising among the Russian population in big cities.

The actual numbers are hard to estimate as the majority of immigrants are off the migration services’ radar.

According to recent data published by Russia’s Federal Migration Service, there are 10.5 million migrants in Russia.

“We need to turn migration into a manageable process,” Medvedev said.

President Vladimir Putin has also recently called on introducing visas for residents of CIS states – post-Soviet republics.

However, the new rules will come into effect in 2015.

At the moment, citizens of post-Soviet states are allowed to enter Russian territory on their national passports.

The acting governor of the Moscow region Andrei Vorobyov supports the idea.

“At least 20 per cent of the population in the Moscow Region are migrants,” he said, adding that “If we fail to regulate this process it will go astray.”

In the early 2000’s the flow of migrants was about 50,000-80,000 people per year.

As an attempt to curb the rising illegal migration toll, Moscow has created special volunteer patrols that are helping the Federal Migration Service with enforcing immigration control in Russia.

Daria Chernyshova