MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) – Russia needs an inflow of over 300,000 migrant workers annually to meet the country’s demands for economic development, Konstantin Romodanovsky, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service, said on Friday.
He said Russia currently needs a total of five to six million foreign workers, who must then be naturalized.
“If we look closely at the situation and at issues concerning demographics, as well as economic issues, every year we need over 300,000 migrants to come get naturalized and permanently live in Russia,” Romodanovsky said.
Migration is a contentious issue for Russia, with widespread disquiet in some sectors of society about the increasing numbers of foreign workers coming to Russia to live.
However, according to the 2012 International Migration Outlook, 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 migrants, accounting for almost seven percent of the country’s working population.