YEREVAN, February 11. / ARKA /. Russian ambassador to Armenia, Ivan Volynkin, shrugged off media allegations that Russia has toughened its immigration policy. In an interview with Armenia’s Public television the ambassador argued that that policy was streamlined rather than toughened.
Under the revised law, citizens of some former Soviet republics, including from Armenia, have the right to remain in the territory of the Russian Federation without registration for only 90 days within every 180 days. This means that citizens of Armenia cannot continually live in Russia for at least six months.
"Unfortunately, Russia is now home to a very large number of illegal immigrants. This is why the government wants to streamline its relating policy,’ the ambassador said.
He agreed that the new law creates ‘some difficulties’ for labor migrants from former Soviet republics working in Russia.
"We need to separate those who go to work in Russia from those who go with other purposes – as tourists, to visit relatives, for medical treatment and so on,» said the diplomat.
According to him, labor migrants can obtain labor permissions for a period of a year. He said the permissions can be obtained by migrants themselves or their employers. The cost of permission is 1000 rubles (some $30), he said.
He said the three-month permission is for tourists, for those visiting relatives, for those going to Russia with private trips and so on.
“I understand that there are certain difficulties for citizens of Armenia. I know that Armenian authorities asked their Russian peers to address this problem. There are no problems that Russia and Armenia can not resolve,” he said.
"I keep saying that because of being close partners Russia and Armenia can always resolve any issue, however difficult it may be. So we need to set up a joint body to look into all such problems and come to mutually acceptable solutions," said the diplomat. -0-