150-200,000 Foreigners In Russia Seek Migrant Status

Some 150,000-200,000 foreigners seeking migrant status are currently living in Russia's territory, said Joseph Gyorke, said deputy regional representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Russia. According to Mr. Gyorke, the largest group of foreigners without the legal status of refugees in Russia is made up of people from Afghanistan. The second largest group is composed of citizens of African countries, such as Angola and Somali, which are currently having civil wars. Mr. Gyorke said that citizens of Iraq, mainly ethnic Kurds, and Shri-Lanka are also seeking the status of migrants in Russia. Official data indicate that today 22,000 individuals hold status of migrants in Russia. Eighty percent of them came from the territory of Georgia. Only 600 citizens of foreign countries other than the former Soviet republics are holding this status. The largest number of migrants from abroad live in Moscow. The second largest group is in St. Petersburg.

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