Immigration of compatriots to Russia: potential and state policy

Alexander A. Grebenyuk, Russian Academy of Sciences
Elena E Pismennaya

The stimulation of migration is the one way of improvement of the negative demographic situation of Russian Federation. The experience of some European countries shows possible problems and risks that appear when insufficiently considered migration policy is using. Compatriots are considered the most favourable migrants, because they know language, culture, traditions and they accommodate better than other migrants do. Now more than 17 millions of Russian people live in CIS and Baltic States. The part of this population forms the migratory potential, which Russia can receive for medium-term outlook. Several factors promote the compatriots’ return. The first of them is unstable political and economic situation in some countries of CIS, like Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Ukraine. The next factor is the limitations of rights of Russian-speaking people. These limitations consist of the interdiction of using of Russian language, the closing of Russian schools, especially in Baltic States. The third factor is a socio-economic status of Russian and Russian-speaking people. Data of Gallup poll indicates that more than 60 percents of Russian-speaking people living in CIS are dissatisfied with their welfare standards. For example, in Georgia 80 percents of compatriots live in want. The fourth factor is an acceleration of Russian economy growth. National government and many experts forecast the economic growth, the increase of investment, the wage-push, and the improvement of quality of life. Russian Federation becomes inviting country for compatriots. The last factor is an interest of Russian President and government in return migration. In 2006, the President singed the decree “On the measures to aiding voluntary return of compatriots living abroad to Russian Federation”. It is proposed removing compatriots to economically and geopolitically important regions of Russian Federation. The government will give them citizenship, payment for passage and baggage delivery will pay a benefit and travel allowance.

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Presented in Session 14: Transnational Communities and Diaspora Networks