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400,000 Ukrainians are in Russian regions bordering on Ukraine — senior official

June 19, 2014, 18:49 UTC+3 TAGANROG (Rostov Region)

Кegional authorities will try to create opportunities for Ukrainians’ permanent stay if all required documents are formalized

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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

TAGANROG, June 19. /ITAR-TASS/. A total of 400,000 Ukrainian nationals are currently in Russian regions bordering on Ukraine, the head of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, Konstantin Romodanovsky, said Thursday.

“We are a bit concerned about the situation that the number of refugees grows each day. Over four days, it grew from 330,000 to 400,000,” Romodanovsky said.

Southern Russian Rostov Region governor Vasily Golubev said the local administration will assess the situation in the region’s 55 municipalities within 10 days to see what capabilities they have to accommodate Ukrainian nationals in cold seasons.

The governor said the key task of the regional authorities now will be to create opportunities for Ukrainians’ permanent stay if all required documents are formalized.

Earlier, Russian presidential administration head Sergei Ivanov called on Ukrainian nationals arriving in Russia from the military operations zone in eastern Ukraine to more actively apply for the temporary resident status.

The status “makes it possible to both receive an allowance and insurance as well as gain a job opportunity,” Ivanov said at a meeting with volunteers and representatives of charity organizations providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees.

Romodanovsky said he will instruct the heads of local migration service departments in Russian regions bordering on Ukraine to work out the issue of increasing temporary resident status quotas.

He said the quota in the Rostov Region defined by the Russian government totals about 700 permits, and added that it has been currently taken up by 30% In the future, the official said, “the amount may prove insufficient”.

“I will give heads of departments, in particular in the Rostov Region, the command to launch the quota allocation mechanism in full,” Romodanovsky said.

He emphasized that temporary residence permits allow people to stay in Russia for periods of up to one year that may be prolonged to three years and offer the opportunity of obtaining jobs.

Fierce clashes have been underway between the Ukrainian military and militias in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which refused to recognize the authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. The regions' residents demanded the country's federalization.

Kiev is conducting a punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's East that involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. It has already claimed hundreds of lives, including civilian, and left some buildings destroyed and damaged.

The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. Their independence has not been officially recognized.

Russia has repeatedly called on Kiev to end the military operation and engage in dialogue with Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking Southeast. The operation, however, continues under newly elected President Petro Poroshenko, who won the May 25 early presidential elections and took office on June 7.

A Russian law enforcement source said Wednesday that more than 13,500 registered refugees from Ukraine’s embattled southeastern regions are currently in Russia, including some 6,200 children.

The refugees are in the border regions of Russia’s Central and Southern federal districts, as well as in Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol - two entities that reunified with Russia in mid-March 2014 after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

The overall number of refugees from Ukraine in Russia stands at tens of thousands of people, but only some of them officially apply for the refugee status.

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