Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Alexey Akzhigitov at the Session of the International Dialogue on Migration «Inclusive and Innovative Partnerships for Effective Global Governance of Migration”
The Russian Federation is convinced that migration can have a harmonizing impact and be beneficial for countries of origin and destination as well as for migrants themselves only when it is safe, orderly and regular. To achieve this aim it is crucially important to establish the effective management of migration processes. Partnerships and international cooperation are surely among the cornerstones of such well managed migration.
We therefore welcome the overall topic of our today`s dialogue and find the initiative of the IOM to organize it especially timely since this IDM goes in fact in parallel with the official negotiations in the United Nations on the issue of the Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Our discussions can efficiently support the elaboration of this document.
Indeed, the Global compact may become an explicit manifestation of successful collective efforts in the field of migration management. The Russian Federation is actively involved in the negotiation process. We do hope that this agreement would make an important contribution to the regulation of global migration, create basis for long‑term and comprehensive international cooperation in human mobility-related issues and substantially improve the situation of migrants. For this purpose the Global Compact has to take form of a political declaration adopted by a consensus and is not supposed to be legally binding.
In our view the Compact should reflect the idea that finding solutions to problems of massive mixed migration flows, including issues of safeguarding rights of refugees and migrants, could never contradict basic humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. Any measures taken to this end must not impair sovereignty of States and should be implemented only with consent of relevant countries. Reacting to current migration challenges primarily demands prevention and peaceful settlement of conflicts which are the key reason of forced displacement. It is equally important to contribute to sustainable conditions for peaceful life in the States of mass population exodus and people's return back home as well as to promote human rights and maintain security.
Furthermore, the Compact should envisage the importance of the effective management of international migration processes with special attention to well organized engagement of foreign labour, adaptation and integration of migrants, additional channels for legal migration, interstate legal cooperation and information exchange, emergency preparedness for mass migration influx and other issues. In particular, it is to generate a perception that adequate control of migration flows should be ensured, unlawful acts by migrants prevented, readmission mechanisms established. Migrants must not become a tool of political manipulation by different forces that fuel ethnic, religious and social hatred.
Finally, we believe that the Compact would benefit from being concise and targeted and it should not go beyond the issues directly related to its main subject.
The Russian Federation is the destination country for massive flows of migrant workers and, in recent years, refugees. In 2017 about 17 million foreign citizens entered our territory. By the end of that year there were over 9 million foreigners staying in Russia.
Migration processes play a considerable role in the social, economic and demographic development of the Russian Federation. Foreign workers, first of all highly qualified specialists, are required for modernization and innovations of the Russian economy as well as for the demographic stability.
Migrants coming to work in Russia greatly contribute to many spheres of our economy and positively influence upon the development of infrastructure. On the other hand money sent by migrants from Russia becomes a major source of foreign currency in countries of origin.
Following the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation the Ministry of Internal Affairs is now in charge of all aspects of the migration policy in our country. National activities in the field of migration management are grounded on the Concept of the State Migration Policy.
The Russian Federation has created an effective system of migration management. Special attention is payed to encouraging labour migration through legal channels, reception of refugees and forced migrants and, of course, to adaptation and integration including through educational programs for migrants to study the Russian language and learn more about cultures and traditions of the peoples of Russia. In doing so national migration authorities work in partnership with universities, media, diasporas, religious and ethnic institutions.
The recently drafted law on social and cultural adaptation and integration of foreign citizens in Russia creates legal, economic and organizational grounds for harmonious involvement of foreigners into the Russian society. Furthermore, the process of naturalization and acquiring Russian citizenship has been considerably simplified for certain categories of foreign citizens, including entrepreneurs, investors, highly qualified specialists and those who got professional education in Russian educational and scientific institutions.
However, facing current realities we believe that within mixed migration flows criminals and terrorists should not be welcomed. Russian migration authorities are systematically working to counter challenges of illegal migration.
The Russian Federation believes that the way to gain advantages from migration and to solve migration related problems surely lies through enhancing international dialogue. We are convinced that the key role in coordinating international efforts in the field of migration management is to be played by the United Nations. Russia actively cooperates on migration issues both bilaterally and multilaterally within the framework of many international and regional organizations, including the UN, the UNHCR, the IOM, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and others. We participate in a number of regional consultative processes on migration. Since 70% of all migrants entering Russia are from the Commonwealth of Independent States area special attention is given to coordination with our neighbors. A very important area of Russian efforts to help forced migrants and refugees is political mediation of conflicts and humanitarian aid.
I thank you for your attention.