“The demographic divide is forcing the Kremlin to attract millions of Russian-speaking people. However, extraordinary demographic situation faced by the economic realities and nationalist propaganda,” writes the correspondent of the Swiss newspaper Le Temps in Moscow Emmanuel grinshpun.
“Vladimir Putin is behind Angela Merkel, but on a much larger scale. As reported by the newspaper “Kommersant” last Thursday, the Kremlin has developed a program to attract five to ten million immigrants within the next six years. The Russian President has turned immigration policy into a national priority to secure the signature of the action plan and giving the order about creation of interdepartmental working group on the implementation of this concept,” the article says.
“But, unlike the Chancellor of Germany, this secretly prepared plan Putin does not include the humanitarian dimension. We are not talking about the admission of immigrants from countries with the greatest number of refugees (Syria, Somalia, South Sudan). Will take only a Russian-speaking citizens of the former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Moldova, etc.” – says the author of the publication.
“No one doubts the feasibility of such a plan given the current demographic situation. In 2018 the population of Russia for the first time in ten years was reduced to 146,8 million people, according to official figures released last week. The demographic projections show that the ratio between working population and pensioners is becoming critical,” says Le Temps.
“In addition to the difficulties in attracting Russian-speaking foreigners in Russia, there is the risk of an outbreak of xenophobia. The vast majority of immigrants from the former Soviet republics are neither Slavs nor Orthodox, and Muslims,” the newspaper writes.
“The sociologist “Levada-Center” Karina Pipia notes that two-thirds of Russians support the restrictive measures of the Russian government aimed at limiting the influx of immigrants,” reports the author.
“Discourse, dominant in the media, is not alien to the suspicion of the Russians, emphasizes grinspun. Commentators insist that Angela Merkel destroyed Europe, having accepted millions of immigrants of Muslim culture”.
“Political analyst Fedor Krasheninnikov, did not believe in further growth of xenophobia or the risk of political destabilization of the country because of “nationalism, chauvinism and xenophobia encouraged by the government.” He doubts that the plan will be implemented, because “Putin has already announced several projects aimed at attracting Russian in Russia, and none of them worked. Russian former republics will come back in droves just in case, if in the countries in which they live, there will be an Islamic regime or chaos.” As for non-Russians, “they will go to those countries where you can earn good money for life in Russia, unfortunately, this is not the case,” reports Le Temps.