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Russia could use Moscow's Soviet-era experience in setting labor migration quotas
Russia could use Moscow's Soviet-era experience in setting labor migration quotas, the health and social development minister said Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin called for a review of migration laws in the wake of an acrimonious spat with Georgia over an alleged espionage affair. "During the Soviet era, Moscow used quotas to funnel labor into sectors that had a workforce shortage - workers in the construction, transportation, healthcare sectors, and so on," Mikhail Zurabov said. "There was a special selection procedure, and then people were provided with housing and jobs for a certain period." He said the same scheme could be used these days, subject to some adjustment. Zurabov said employment opportunities in specific sectors should be provided to Russian citizens before being offered to migrants, adding that selective migration is used in most G-8 countries. But he said there will no special labor migration policy with respect to Georgia. Authorities in Georgia charged four Russian officers with spying last Wednesday, but released them Monday to defuse what was becoming a mounting crisis. An enraged Moscow responded by suspending all transportation and mail links with Georgia, while police also targeted illegal immigrants and businesses suspected of maintaining links with the Georgian criminal underworld. In late July, President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill setting out a new simplified migration registration procedure in Russia for foreign nationals and stateless persons. The law will lift excessive administrative barriers, ensure more effective control over migration processes, help combat illegal immigration and provide state authorities with more precise data.
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