Foreign Workers to be Sent Home from Russian Far East

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Apr. 5 – Moscow has forced Vladistok’s regional authorities to kick out foreign workers from the Russian Far East as soon as they finish their work on construction sites for the upcoming APEC 2012 Summit, which will be held in the city this September.

The majority of the foreign workers, mostly citizens of China and North Korea, came to the Russian Far East to work on the APEC Summit and benefit from a simplified foreign labor entry regime to Vladivostok, which was set up by the country’s Ministry of Regional Development upon mass requests by APEC contractors.

But now, as many construction sites have been completed and all necessary work has been done, a lot of foreign workers are refusing to leave Russia, according to the police department and regional agency of Federal Migration Service.

There are as many as 5,000 foreign workers remaining in the Rusky Island of Vladivostok and more than half of them are already remaining there illegally.

City authorities are asking contractors of immigrant worker to do their best to send foreigners back to their counties and prevent them from settling down in the Russian Far East. During the meeting, city police representatives say they are ready to help foreign builders to get into buses to drive them to airplanes to fly home if needed.

Observers believe the special attention to the migrant workers has been inspired not only by the authority’s attempt to prevent violation of the law, but also by so-called yellow peril-style fears of a nonviolent Chinese invasion of the Russian Far East.

Within the last decade, both local and federal Russian press have published speculation that between two and five million Chinese immigrants reside in the Russian Far East, and predicted that half of the population of Russia would be Chinese by 2050.

There is the common joke about the Chinese future of Russia. “How much will a McDonald’s hamburger be in 2030 in Moscow?” The answer is 5 yuan.

Russians typically believe that Chinese come to Russia with the aim of permanent settlement, and even president elect Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying that if Russia does not take practical steps to advance the region soon, local Russians “will be speaking Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in a few decades.”

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