Seven Million People Left Russia Since 1991 - 10 December, 2002 - News

Yesterday, the Russian minister overseeing ethnic relations, Vladimir Zorin, spoke at a Duma parliamentary hearing dedicated to the discussion of the concept of the regulation of immigration to the Russian Federation. According to the minister, over 7 million people left Russia within the period of 1991-2002. He also informed that during the same period of time, over 27 million people, or every fourth citizen of Russia, changed their places of residence.

However, Vladimir Zorin emphasized that against the background of the unfavorable demographic situation in the country, immigration serves an important factor of manpower replenishment. The minister said that, currently, Russia needs immigrants. At present, over 10% of immigrants fill the manpower shortage in Russia.

According Russia’s State Statistics Committee, 283,700 foreigners were officially registered on RF territory during 2001. At the same time, the minister stresses that the number of unregistered immigrants to Russia made up over 3 million people.

Vladimir Zorin says that in this connection many of the RF regions are introducing quotas on the entry of foreigners to their territories. Thus, the quota on the entry of foreigners to Russia for 2003 was established at the rate of 538 thousand immigrants. As for Moscow, the number will make up 90 thousand people. At the same time, the minister adds that the numbers are understated, and the authorities will have to review them.

The minister said that Russia urgently has to develop a state policy on immigration regulation and must first of all guarantee protection of the rights of immigrants and security of the state itself in connection with the immigration problem. Vladimir Zorin thinks that emigration of Russian youth and highly qualified specialists abroad is a pressing problem for the country. At the same time, as the minister stressed that the process of Russia’s integration into the world labor market did not start today, and it is poorly regulated and organized. This is the reason why Russia must develop its own concept of the regulation of the immigration process and realize the objectives outlined in a new concept.

RIA Novosti

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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