By Marina Romanova
The ban was imposed this Monday by Novosibirsk governor Vladimir Gorodetsky and must be enforced over the next three months of this year by “every employer contracting in the region.” Employers now have a deadline to ensure they comply with the legislation concerning 16 professions in total.
The jobs now barred to foreigners also include preparation of children’s food; work in kids day care, in mining or fisheries. Moreover, new ruling will see the migrants banned from working in finance, law, translation, editing, bookkeeping and audit, consulting and management, The Moscow Times read in the article oddly entitled ‘Russia’s Novosibirsk Region Bans Low-Skilled Migrants’. Although, many migrants are doing menial work in Russia, yet many occupations from the governor’s 16 jobs list are rather qualified personnel positions.
According to the region’s statistics authority, the net migration to Novosibirsk oblast in 2015 was 12,365. As many as 9,822 people – immigrants from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine – were settled in the region. Majority of the settlers are immigrant laborers, taiga.info reports. According to Karomat Sharipov, head of the Tadjik NGO ‘Tadjik Labor Migrants’ active in Russia, 80 percent of those working in the region are from Tajikistan.
The rest 591 newcomers are from so-called ‘far overseas states’ (compare to ‘near foreign countries’ of former Soviet Union). None of them were settled in Novosibirsk oblast by the end of the last year, statistics office says.
The region’s total population is 2.76 million, of whom 1.58 million live in the city of Novosibirsk, which is Russia’s third biggest city, after Moscow and St Petersburg. So the simple calculation suggests that all immigrant laborers in the region are account to less than 0, 4 percent of the total native-born populace.
The ban was enabled by the decree signed by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on December 7th of 2015. The decree granted regional authorities the power to limit the amount of foreign workers by restricting their access to certain jobs.
The governor’s ruling did not explain the motivation for the far-reaching ban affecting foreigners, the Bloomberg emphasized. Gorodetsky is a member of the United Russia, country’s ruling political party, and ex-mayor of the city of Novosibirsk.
Rather vague explanation was given by the member of the regional authority, deputy labor minister Nadezhda Tsvetkova. She said immigrants were banned from 16 jobs “in order to ensure national security, maintain an optimal balance of labor resources, as well as assisting the prioritizing in employment of citizens of Russian Federation’.
“Employment should depend on the qualifications of the employee and not on his or her nationality,” Novye Iszestia reports Svetlana Ganushkina, Russian prominent human right advocate, as saying.
Russian professional office staff web source klerk.ru is sorely perplexed by the governor’s 16 jobs list. “It’s hard to figure out how exactly migrants, who worked as secretaries, accountants, editors and translators, as well as hunters and fishermen, displeased (them). It’s even more challenging to grasp why the ban was adopted in August, when much of the year has already passed,” the klerk.ru news about the ban read.
In the course of a discussion organized last week by the Rosbalt news agency about the status of migrants in Russia, experts agree, regardless of what the authorities do and regardless of what happens in the economy of Russia in general and in country’s big cities in particular, migration is likely to remain the case.
“Migrants are become Moscow’s working class,” Renat Karimov, head of the Russia’s Immigrants Labor Union, pointed out. “Everything is on them. Of course, they may not be too agreeable to look at, they don’t wash their heads every day, but they toil away. I think they deserve to be respected,” Rosbalt reports Karimov as saying.
Paul Goble, well-known Russia and Eurasia expert, writes in his blog ‘Window in Eurasia – New Series’ about the Rosbalt discussion, “the fact that where ethnicity and class coincide, each intensifies the feelings of the other and thus helps to create a situation where clashes are more likely and any resolution of those clashes less so”.
In the first quarter of 2015 natural decline of Russia’s population has reached 34,584 people, which is 13 percent more than in the first three months of 2014. Demographers forecast the natural decline in Russia to linger in coming years; presumably it would not be enough Russians to do jobs that migrants do.
According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development 2014 data of remittances flows, Russia shows the highest level of flows, with US$20.6 billion going to eight neighbouring countries located in Central Asia and the Caucasus (CIS countries), and to southeastern Europe and the Near East. In the list of top 10 sending countries, Russia followed by the U.K., which recorded US$17.1 billion in remittances, has per capita GDP that is almost 50 percent higher than the Russia’s GDP.