Putin says Russia needs more flexible approach to immigration

Migrant Workers file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russia needs a more flexible immigration policy to make it possible to attract the specialists the country requires, President Vladimir Putin has said. He was speaking during a visit to state-owned international TV channel RT (formerly known as Russia Today) in Moscow on the same day, as reported by the Russian media that day.

“On the whole our policy in the migration sphere should be more flexible, certainly ensuring the rights of our indigenous citizens, but it should be more flexible so to attract labour resources at least,” Russian privately-owned Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. “The government is working on this now,” he said.

Putin said that Russia should “adjust its policy” regarding the granting of citizenship in certain cases, adding that there were good examples of certain countries attracting specialists that are necessary for a country, Interfax reported.

The issue of immigration in Russia, however, is not as serious and dangerous as it is in the USA and Europe, Putin also said, responding to another question, as shown on Russian state news channel Rossiya 24.

This is because people coming to Russia tend to be from former Soviet states and generally know some Russian and have a common mentality and historical memory, he said. Nevertheless, measures should be taken, such as Russian language and history courses, to help new citizens assimilate in the country, he added.

“And here, of course, one needs to instil in our new citizens, or those who want to become citizens of Russia, a sense of responsibility,” he said, “an understanding that they have come to another country and they are obliged to observe our traditions, our laws, and to respect our culture and our history.”