by Ashot Safaryan
Russia has elaborated and handed over to Armenia an agreement regulating the problems of migration, and at the moment Moscow is waiting for Yerevan's response to launch the process of mutual coordination, Konstantin Romodanovsky, Head of the Federal Migration Service of Russia, said at the Armenian-Russian Friendship Parliamentary Club in Yerevan.
To recall, the amendments to the Russian migration legislation effective January 2014 have caused a wide public response in Armenia. The amendments allow foreign citizens to stay in Russia without filling in additional documents within 90 days during a year. Now nearly 170 thsd citizens of Armenia have found themselves on the list of persons who will be denied access to Russia for three years, according to the new amendments.
However, Romodanovsky pointed out that many problems will be settled down after the specified agreements are signed. He added that the agreements will come into force as soon as they are signed no matter when Armenia joins the Customs Union. When asked whether the blacklisted persons will be allowed to visit Russia after Armenia's accession to the Customs Union, Romodanovsky said that this issue should be discussed with Armenia and that he cannot comment on it yet. He added that Armenia is a strategic migration partner of Russia and that despite the complexities in the CIS Russia has always felt Armenia's support and understanding in the CIS and outside it.
He also stressed that migration is an important factor for Armenia's economic growth. He said that in 2011 transfers to Armenia totaled $1.2 bln versus $1.4 bln in 2012 and $1.8 bln in 2013.
"Undoubtedly, processes of Eurasian integration along with the economic integration suppose ensuring of free movement of citizens. The deeper the integration in the sphere of economy and creation of a single labor market, the more conditions for movement of people without obstacles and for reduction of the migration procedures. Russia still remains one of the biggest states of the world by receiving of migrants at the Eurasian space and in the world in general. The total of 17,1 million people arrived in Russia last year, 75% of which are the CIS citizens", - Romodanovsky said.
He also added that at present it is necessary to start negotiations with the Armenian party about the possibility of staying at the territory of the state for 30 days without registration. "Our Armenian colleagues were handed over the draft agreement...We have made an arrangement with Migration Service of Armenia on 29 May", - he said and added that cooperation in the matter of citizenship should be a compulsory figure of the bilateral "roadmap" in the sphere of migration.