Russia's Interior Minister: More Than 3,500 Russian Nationals Live Illegally In Belgium

More than 3,500 Russian nationals have crossed the border and live in Belgium, Russia's Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov told journalists after a meeting on Monday with Belgium's Interior Minister Antoine Duquesne. According to Gryzlov, in the course of the meeting the sides discussed ways of putting into practice provisions of an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in combating crime, dated December 20, 2000. The Russian minister noted that a group of experts is going to be set up to look into ways of combating organised crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, and economic crimes, including money laundering. The Russian interior minister also touched upon the problem of illegal migration from Russia. According to Gryzlov, "this question is certain to be decided". Belgium's Interior Minister said that Belgium and Russia must "necessarily join hands in the struggle against crime". Duquesne also said that "unlawful migration poses a big problem for European Union countries". A programme of stay of the Belgian delegation provides for meetings with the top executives of the Ministry for Federal Affairs, Nationalities and Migration Policy, the Federal Border Service, and the Foreign Ministry.

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