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Migration Potential in the New Independent States (Baltic and CIS countries)

The dynamism of migration flows in the 1990s and in 2000–2008 shows that Russia has less and less opportunities to attract the Russian and Russian-speaking migrants from the new foreign countries. Some New Independent States intensified the policy of the compatriots' returning from abroad: the idea of the Ukrainians' coming back to Ukraine is being discussed in that country; in Belarus, in 2002, the Law on Demographic Security was passed, which helps the Belarusians to voluntarily return to Belarus. Kazakhstan also has the special program.

In 2006 Russia also adopted the State Program to help the compatriots abroad to voluntarily return home. However, it should have been worked out as early as in 1990s. More than that, any program should be implemented within 5–7 years, as when this period runs out the migration guidelines change drastically and the population composition, especially the most mobile age groups, change too.

We cannot let the migration process take its course. The so-called «open doors» policy is fraught with many negative strategic, social and economic consequences that are able to seriously shake social and political stability in the country.

This way, it is impossible to work out Russia's migration policy and, more than that, to control very complicated migration processes without the qualitative situation analysis.

In 2008–2009 the Eurasia Heritage Foundation implemented the research project «Migration potential in the New Independent States (CIS and Baltic states)» within the «Human Capital» project to investigate that problem.

The goal of the project is to assess the NIS migration potential, the opportunities and conditions of increasing Russia's labor resources.

The tasks of the projects are:

  • to work out the methods of the study «Migration potential in the New Independent States (CIS and Baltic states)«;
  • to determine the capacity of the migration potential for Russia;
  • to determine the social and demographic characteristics (age, ethnic origin, education, etc) of the migration potential;
  • to determine the main donor countries of Russia in the CIS and Baltic states;
  • to determine the reasons why migrants come back to Russia.

The project is managed by Leonid Rybakovsky, economist, professor, head of the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Institute of Social and Political Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences.