Russia: Putin urges diplomats to pursue more proactive migration policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Jun 28 13:01:55 UTC 2006

Putin urges diplomats to pursue more proactive migration policy
 15:11 | 27/ 06/ 2006

MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin called on
diplomats Tuesday to make it easier for would-be immigrants to come to
Russia as one way of dealing with the country's demographic crisis. In
May, Putin called the decline in Russia's population - which he said was
falling by 700,000 people a year - the country's biggest problem. He said
a sensible migration policy could help solve the problem. And the
president said today that the Foreign Ministry should work more
proactively with Russians living abroad. "This work is important for a
broader state migration policy," he said.  "It must be an effective tool
in overcoming Russia's demographic problems."

Addressing diplomats in the Foreign Ministry, he said he was surprised
with complaints made by Russians living overseas about citizenship issues
and other immigration questions. "This is strange since Russia needs an
inflow of immigrants," the president said. He added that Russians resident
in other countries did not encounter assimilation problems. "We speak the
same language and are of the same culture," he said. Putin said that
Russia was preparing for an international congress of compatriots and
ordered the ministry to draft an agenda. He said the main aim of the
congress would be to take work with Russians living overseas to a new

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