A representative of the Kremlin administration called on the Russian Justice Ministry to take an active part in the fight against illegal migration.
According to Viktor Ivanov, the deputy head of the presidential administration, the thwarting of illegal migration is one of the priority tasks of the law enforcement bodies.
According to the Federal Frontier Service, in Russia there are about 5.6 million foreigners with expired visas, said Ivanov. According to some other information, there are about 10-12 million migrants in Russia.
Some migrants violate laws, others become victims of criminal groups, Ivanov said. Many illegal migrants are involved in business and don't pay taxes.
The Kremlin representative gave some graphic examples. Thus, according to Azerbaijan's data, there are about 2.5 million Azeris in Russia. About 600,000 Azeris live in Moscow and the Moscow region, with 410,000 having a registration and only 13 people being recorded in tax bodies. According to Ivanov's data, there are 200,000 Chinese in Moscow, with 350 being registered in tax bodies.
Moreover, natural persons (non-residents) purchase 50 per cent of hard currency, says the Bank of Russia. If no urgent measures are taken, our country will suffer great economic damage, Ivanov stressed. According to some forecasts, the number of illegal migrants may reach 19 million by 2010.