About 10 Million Illegal Immigrants Live In Russia

According to experts, up to 10 million illegal immigrants are currently living in Russia, said Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Vasiliyev at a conference called the World Community Against Globalization of Crime and Terrorism. Among illegal immigrants are casual workers from the Commonwealth of the Independent States member-countries; tourists, mainly Chinese who cross the border and stay in Primorye; and a large number of citizens of the third countries, who came to the Soviet Union to get an education and did not return to their home countries after the breakup of the USSR. According to Mr. Vasiliyev, one of the reasons of illegal immigration is the fact that Russia practically lacks state boundaries with the CIS countries. In addition, over many years, the visa application process for those coming to Russia from CIS remains overly simple. Mr. Vasiliyev also addressed the issue of the "brain drain" from Russia. In 2000, about 100,000 Russians left Russia for European countries. In particular, 56 percent of them went to Germany, 23 percent to Israel, and 7 percent to the United States.

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