MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – Illegal migration poses a security threat to Russia as a conduit for the infiltration of militants and foreign intelligence agents, Federal Security Service (FSB) deputy head Alexander Roshchupkin said on Thursday.
“We expect the ongoing armed conflicts, in particular in Syria as well as the effects of the ‘Arab Spring’ to lead to an inflow of militants, who are now acquiring practical experience, via illegal migration channels,” he told a hearing at the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament.
Other threats stemming from illegal migration involve the activities of foreign intelligence services, he warned.
“It has been established beyond any doubt that the special services of foreign states are using illegal migration channels to conduct intelligence and ‘subversive’ activity to the detriment of Russian security,” Roshchupkin said, but did not elaborate.
The Federal Migration Service (FMS) estimates the number of illegal migrants in Russia around 3 million. According to the 2012 International Migration Outlook report issued last year by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Russia is home to the world’s largest number of illegal immigrants, accounting for almost seven percent of the country’s working population.
Updated, deleting irrelevant comments by foreign intelligence official.