Kyrgyz Authorities Ask Moscow to Improve Situation for Labor Migrants

Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Jeenbek Kulubayev met with a representative of the Moscow Government, Sergey Cheremin, where they discussed the situation surrounding labor migrants in the Russian capital.

Kulubayev spoke about the large number of Kyrgyz working in Moscow, most of whom are employed in wholesale and retail, construction, catering, hotel and hospitality services, and processing of industrial goods. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 200,000 Kyrgyz live in Greater Moscow, and according to unofficial data, the number is possibly two to three times that. Regulations on Kyrgyz citizens residing and working in Russia are governed by several bilateral agreements and treaties: Kyrgyz citizens can be employed under a civil-law contract without the need to obtain a labor permit; Kyrgyz citizens can also work in Russia using driver’s licenses issued in their homeland.

However, in the aftermath of the attack on the Crocus City Hall on March 22 – allegedly perpetrated by Tajik terrorists – the overall Russian attitude towards migrants who perform many essential jobs has changed, and local authorities want to tighten Russia’s migration legislation.

In late March, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry called on his compatriots to refrain from traveling to Russia until additional security measures are lifted. There are known cases when Kyrgyz citizens have been refused admission by the Federal Customs Service’s passport control at Sheremetyevo International Airport. The migrants who flew in had their documents taken and were not allowed to enter Russia.

Earlier, Cheremin said that the Kyrgyz diaspora occupies a very important place in social and cultural projects in the Russian capital, adding that many Kyrgyz work in high-tech industries.


Times of Central Asia

Askar Alimzhanov graduated from the journalism department of the Kazakh State University named after S. Kirov, then worked as a correspondent for the daily republican newspaper Leninskaya Smen. He then moved to the United States to be a reporter for the daily newspaper "Cape Cod Times" in Hayanis, Massachusetts, (USA) under the journalist exchange program between the Union of Journalists of the USSR and the New England Society of News Editors. Since then, he has helped build transparency and understanding of Central Asia region in various executive level positions at esteemed media organizations including "Akbar"(Alma-Ata) international center for journalism, the Khabar News agency, the Television and Radio Corporation "Kazakhstan" JSC, and MIR- Kazakhstan.

View more articles fromTimes of Central Asia