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Statement by Ms. Valentina Kazakova, Head of the Main Directorate for Migration of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation, at the High-Level Segment of the 112th Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration

Statement by Ms. Valentina Kazakova,

Head of the Main Directorate for Migration
of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation,
at the High-Level Segment of the 112th Session of the Council
of the International Organization for Migration

(Geneva, 29 November 2021)


Mr. Director General,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Russian Federation congratulates the senior officials and all staff members of the IOM on the anniversary of the foundation of this Organization.

For 70 years, the IOM has been promoting humane and orderly migration and supporting millions of people. Its work is an essential part of the integrated effort to regulate migration processes and improve international cooperation in this field.

Since its establishment, the IOM has asserted itself as a relevant universal credible organization for migration affairs and has gained the status of a UN-related entity.

Russia has been cooperating with the Organization for nearly three decades. Throughout these years, Russian competent authorities for migration-related matters have been interacting with the IOM’s office in Moscow. In April 2021, the Russian Federation became a full-fledged member of the Organization, making it possible for us to look forward to fostering a dialogue on key migration issues at a qualitatively new level.

Mr. Director General,

We note with regret that today for millions of people migration is not a voluntary choice, but an unfortunate necessity. We are convinced that the most effective way to overcome migration crises affecting individual countries and entire regions of the world is to address the deep-rooted causes forcing people to leave their homelands. We believe that this issue can be successfully resolved by achieving a political settlement in the countries of exodus of migrants, as well as by assisting them in their social and economic development, nation-building and fight against terrorism. Any external interference in the internal affairs of other States should be avoided. In our view, the countries that actively participated in such interference should bear the primary and greatest responsibility for the consequences that often include large-scale migratory and refugee movements.

We share the concern of the world community over the forced migration from and within Afghanistan. We believe that the success in tackling this challenge depends on achieving national reconciliation and rebuilding the country.

The Russian Federation considers internationally coordinated efforts an important part of the solution to global migration problems. We welcome in this regard the leading role played by the IOM in elaborating and implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. We believe that this compact is a foundation for long-term comprehensive international cooperation aimed at creating necessary conditions for regular migration and establishing mechanisms for effective migration control. We note that many provisions of Russia’s State Migration Policy Concept are consistent with the principles and objectives of the compact.

Mr. Director General,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on all global social, political and economic processes, including migration.

It is important that the IOM has demonstrated its willingness to promptly respond to new challenges related to the spread of the coronavirus infection. There is high demand for the Organization’s work to provide tailored support to migrants.

Russia has taken significant measures to reduce epidemiological risks and deliver targeted assistance to foreign citizens and stateless persons.

Last December, our country launched a large-scale voluntary coronavirus vaccination campaign. Vaccines are available to all foreign citizens in Russia. Foreigners residing temporarily or permanently in Russia, as well as persons with the refugee status can get this medical service free of charge.

Due to travel restrictions on international transport, foreign citizens intending to work in Russia could not reach their places of work. At the same time, quite a lot of foreigners visiting our country for tourist, personal or other purposes could not leave for their homeland.

The Russian Federation has undertaken extensive work to make it possible for the foreign citizens that did not return to their countries before the border closure to settle their legal status in Russia and work legally. Administrative penalties for violating Russian migration laws have been significantly softened. For many foreign citizens this is basically an unprecedented opportunity to legalize their status in Russia.

Residence permits and residency registrations of foreign citizens staying in Russia expiring on 31 December 2021 are considered valid through 18 July 2022. The terms of temporary and permanent residence of foreigners, residency registrations, as well as refugee certificates and temporary asylum certificates expiring after 31 December 2021 are renewed starting from 1 January 2022 and considered extended for 199 days from the expiration date.

Furthermore, procedures for working with foreign citizens arriving in the Russian Federation for higher or vocational education have been approved. Foreign citizens can enter Russia for educational purposes from any foreign State, regardless of whether the air travel has been resumed.

A broad campaign is being conducted in cooperation with diaspora organizations to raise public awareness about opportunities to settle one’s legal status while the temporary measures are in effect. In total, about a million foreign citizens and stateless persons have legalized their status since 15 March 2020.

Mr. Director General,

In conclusion, allow me to confirm Russia’s focus on constructive cooperation with the IOM as one of the most important multilateral platforms for discussing and working on vital aspects of migration-related issues.

Thank you.