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On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted in the State Duma a bill, which introduces new restrictions for foreigners and domestic migrants. The president offered to increase the fines for violations of the registration rules for people, who do not live at their registration places and for the owners of housing. A Russian citizen is to register at the place of his stay within 90 days and at the permanent residence place within seven days. However, the residence without registration is considered as a separate offence. A resident will face a fine from 2,000 to 3,000 roubles for violation of the registration rules and a fine from 3,000 to 5,000 roubles for the foresaid violations in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The main brunt of responsibility will be shouldered on the housing owners: fines from 2,000 to 5,000 roubles for individuals and from 250,000 to 750,000 roubles for legal entities.
The explanatory note to the bill said that the bill is aimed against ‘the rubber houses’ (i.e. they offer the illegal registration to an almost limitless number of people): thousands of people register tens and hundreds of migrants in their flats, the RBC daily noted. The fines will make from 2,000 to 800,000 roubles for different kinds of violations of the registration rules for individuals and legal entities, the fines are also imposed for people, who live not at their residence place. The criminal responsibility is also introduced: for fictitious registration in your housing an offender can be sentenced up to three years in prison.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily believes that this is not the reinstatement of the registration rules, which were in effect in the country in the Soviet times. The explanatory note to the document affirmed that the bill does not envisage any restrictions of human rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the Russian Constitution. The bill does not encroach on the freedom of movement and the right to choose the place of residence. The document “does not replace the term of the notifying nature of the registration of Russian citizens” and does not envision a higher number of documents, which are required for this procedure. However, the bill offers to put this matter in order.
The opposition is convinced that this is one more turn-of-the-screw step, which can be only detrimental to people, the Kommersant daily reported. The experts believe that tough measures will not solve the problems with migration.
Former deputy of the State Duma and retired colonel of the Federal Security Service Gennady Gudkov believes that “the bill is aimed at the turn-of-the-screw general tendency,” but believes that it will not be efficient “in the corrupt state”. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation Vadim Solovyev believes that the current migration situation should be put in order, so that it will not affect law-abiding Russian citizens. “Millions of people are looking constantly for a job and have to migrate in the country and it is not needed to overreact in this issue,” the deputy told the Kommersant daily.
President of the foundation Migration of the Twenty-first Century Vyacheslav Postavnin noted that he “would like to believe that this is the revival of the domestic system for the monitoring of the movement of people in Russia,” because it is unclear now at all, “how the population is migrating, how many people live in the settlements.” But the bill raises doubts in him.
The expert believes that the Federal Migration Service is not ready to receive all the migrants, if all of them will hurry to get the official registration, moreover, “the Russian housing fund is impermissibly small, the country lacks the institute of rented housing, the entry in the country is visa-free for the citizens of several countries.”
According to the explanatory note, the bill is officially aimed at the struggle against “massive abuses of their rights by the owners of housing that are frequently seeking corrupt goals.” In particular, according to the authors of the bill, “over 6,400 addresses, at which about 300,000 people were registered,” were exposed in 2011 alone. These people evade “the fulfilment of their constitutional duties for other people, the state authorities and the society.” Therefore, the emergence of the term “fictitious registration of a person at the place of stay or the place of residence” is among the main novelties. So, this is the registration “with the false data and documents produced” or the registration of a person “without the intentions” to live in these premises.
Head of the Civil Assistance Foundation Svetlana Gannushkina, which is quoted by the newspaper, believes that “the comeback to the compulsory registration has already taken place,” and this fact makes people process the registration to gain the right for medical services, education and etc. “Otherwise, no one had not been registered in the flat, where it is impossible to live at all with 200 people registered there,” she explained. She noted that people are invited to join the program for the resettlement of compatriots, and then it turns out that they should have the registration to acquire citizenship at their place of residence, a dormitory or a rented flat, where they moved in, but they cannot receive the registration, “The registration in ‘the rubber flats’ is not a massive psychosis of the migrants, but the normal conduct according to our laws.”