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Moldovan region asks Russia for simpler citizenship for labour migrants

At least 750,000 Moldovans work in Russia
A worker at a Moscow market (archive) ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan
A worker at a Moscow market (archive)
© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

CHISINAU, April 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Authorities in Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia have asked Russia to simplify citizenship procedures for labour migrants who might lose their jobs in Russia following the introduction of tougher migration rules from 2014.

"Proceeding from the necessity of a quick legal solution on which thousands of people depend for survival, we ask you to consider the possibility of granting Russian citizenship to Moldovans in a simplified procedure," head of the autonomous region Mikhail Formuzal said in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some 550 Moldovans work in Russia, according to official estimates, but their real number is believed to be at least 750,000. Under new migration rules, foreigners can stay in Russia no more than 90 days unless they obtain a work permit. Since the new rules came into effect, the Russian Migration Service has exposed some 7,000 violators among Moldovan citizens, who have been banned from entering the country.

Formuzal's note to Russia's president expressed concern over "the new migration rules impacting at least one-third of Moldova's residents" who derived a source of funds thanks to remittances from their relatives working in Russia, according to his press service.

"Moldovans are known to be industrious and even-tempered," the leader said. "Their Russian language skills, knowledge of Russian culture and the common Orthodox faith enable them to easily integrate into Russian society.

"I'm confident that Moldovan citizens working in Russia are capable of contributing to the development of the Russian economy and can become worthy members of Russian society," he added.