MOSCOW, November 15 (Itar-Tass) Gennady Onishchenko, chief health officer of Russia, suggested on Monday a full ban on the entry to Russia of labour migrants from Tajikistan “for health reasons.” Yuri Popov, Russian ambassador to Tajikistan, flew from Moscow to Dushanbe with an ultimatum to the Tajik authorities. The Russian authorities do not link the process with the conviction of the Russian pilots by the Tajik court, but many people point to the connection between the two facts.
The Russian authorities continue to exert pressure on labour migrants from Tajikistan, who are working in Russia, The Kommersant writes. Despite the fact that President Dmitry Medvedev described as “accidental coincidence” the deportation of Tajiks from Moscow after the judgement was passed on Viktor Sadovnichy, a Russian pilot, Chief Health Officer Onishchenko suggested on Monday that a ban should be imposed on the employment of migrants from Tajikistan “for health reasons.”
The newspaper reminds that some 300 Tajik nationals were arrested in the central part of Moscow, at market places and construction sites during special raids. A representative of the Federal Migration Service told The Kommersant that another 297 people are ready for deportation, and they have no more information about the number of the people to be deported. A worker of the Severny detention centre, where arrested illegal migrants are usually brought, said that “they have long been counted by the hundreds, and actually no one takes the trouble of counting them.”
Onishchenko suggested on Monday a full ban on the entry of Tajik migrants to Russia. He said that 188 Tajik nationals infected with HIV, tuberculosis and syphilis had come to Russia since November 2010. “Actually every fifth foreigner of all those, who were deported from Russia this year for medical reasons, was a Tajik national,” he said (some 3,000 illegal migrants from Tajikistan were deported from Russia in 2010). Onishchenko said that his statement was not politically motivated.
Onishchenko’s statement about a possible ban on the employment of labour migrants from Tajikistan “until the time, when at least minimal public health conditions are created there” evoked perplexity among Tajik legislators, The Novye Izvestia writes. They began to draft urgently an official statement on the issue. Joint raids of the police and officers of the Federal Migration Service for the purpose of detaining illegal migrants from Tajikistan have been going on in Russia for several days. “Of course, the trial of the pilots is the reason for that,” sources in the Tajik embassy in Moscow told The Novye Izvestia.
A possible ban on the employment of Tajik migrants will not affect negatively the situation with foreign workers in Russia, said Nikolai Kurdyumov, president of the council of the Labour Migration International Association, whose words are quoted by The Moskovsky Komsomolets. According to Kurdyumov, if labour migrants from Tajikistan are deported from Russia, their places will be taken by Uzbek or Kyrgyz nationals. Besides, a great number of illegal migrants from Tajikistan are staying in Russia – almost ten times as many as legal migrants. Onishchenko will never cope with that problem.