Interfax: Number of new Russian citizens order of magnitude larger than number of emigrants – FMS

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) – Fewer Russians are taking permanent residence abroad, according to the Federal Migration Service.

“Approximately 26,000-27,000 took permanent residence abroad last year. There has been a decline in the number of people leaving for permanent residence in foreign countries since 2008,” Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky said in an interview published by Komsomolskaya Pravda on Tuesday.

“Somebody leaves, but not millions or hundreds of thousands. Mostly, these are not lost citizens who break up with their fatherland forever and go far away. They leave for a year, two, three or several years, usually to work by contract,” Romodanovsky said.

In his words, almost 140,000 foreigners were naturalized in Russia last year. “The total number [of persons granted] residence permits or citizenship exceeds 260,000. These are people permanently residing in Russia. We have a task to increase this number to more than 300,000 a year consistent with the demographic policy,” Romodanovsky said.

There have been plenty of requests for Russian citizenship from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, he added.

[featured image is file photo of random crowd in Russia]