Over seven million people emigrated from Russia in 1991-2002 while the number of immigrants made a bit more than three million. These figures were cited by Minister Vladimir Zorin when addressing Monday the Duma's parliamentary hearings on a draft Concept of regulating migration processes in the Russian Federation.
Over this period, some 27 million people changed their place of residence (preliminary results of the recent census in Russia estimate the population at 145 million).
With the worsening demographic situation in the country, migration is an important factor of workforce replenishment and Russia needs migrants, he noted. Over 10 percent of migrants are now filling in the gap in the country's workforce, he added.
According to the state statistics committee figures for 2001, there were 283,700 foreign citizens in Russia while over 3 million people entered it as unofficial migrants, said the minister.
This considered, many jurisdictions have begun introducing quotas on entry visas to their territory. In 2003, the quota for the Russian Federation is 538,000 migrants. Moscow has set its quota at 90,000 people. "These figures are somewhat underrated and will be revised," said Zorin.
Migration of Russian youth and qualified personnel abroad is another serious problem, noted Zorin.
At the same time, Russia's integration into the world labour market has been under way for several years but the process is poorly organised and regulated. Therefore the adoption of a draft concept is not an end in itself but the way to get down to resolving the underlined problems as soon as possible, concluded Vladimir Zorin.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre