Russia is becoming an increasingly attractive country to migrant workers, government minister Vladimir Zorin, in charge of nationalities issues, said on Thursday at a meeting of the government commission on migration policy.
Citing Goskomstat data, Zorin pointed out that while in 2001 Russia received about 280,000 migrant workers, last year their numbers rose to 350,000.
The minister supposed that this year the figure would grow further, and noted that the quota for migrant workers in 2003 is 530,000 people.
Zorin stressed that the growth of labour migration had been made possible by the stabilisation of the political and economic situation in Russia.
According to the minister, Russia is interested in migrant workers. "We are not going to close our borders, on the contrary we will be creating conditions for people to arrive in Russia on legal grounds, to prepared conditions, but observe the laws and pay taxes," Zorin emphasised.
According to him, the interests of Russia's permanent population should also be taken into account in migration policy.