Russia also has problems with immigration


Bernd Knabe
Migrations to and from Eastern Europe

Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Persons after 1989 - Causes and Crisis Management

Gorbachev's perestroika, which relied on the independence and reform capacity of the individual satellite countries, was the initial spark for the various migratory flows that have been observed in and from Eastern and Southeastern Europe in recent years and that are increasingly preoccupying neighboring countries and the international community as well consequently the maintenance of the "iron curtain" no longer considered necessary. The depth and speed of change in the political system in the individual countries differed greatly, but the common feature of these processes of change is their non-violence (even in Romania it was more of a staged coup of one against the other socialist leadership group.) Political and economic reforms should bring about a change in the system and show the population a perspective that is worth living in.

While the Soviet leadership and the Warsaw Pact had cemented the borders agreed in 1944/45 in the four decades after the Second World War, and the governments of the satellite countries and Yugoslavia had prevented the emergence of national tensions, the upheaval enabled a policy aimed more strongly at national interests of the individual countries. It is obvious that in this way the stability of multiethnic states in particular, especially in the case of the existing or presumed dominance of a sub-state or a nation, was in principle jeopardized. It was also now possible to question the often arbitrary demarcation that followed the two world wars. If people had been brought up in the spirit of "socialist internationalism" for generations, national and nationalist feelings, often xenophobia and anti-Semitism, came to the fore again.

Even if the governments of the reform states have written a nationality policy or regulations for the protection of minorities on their flags that correspond to international or European standards, they are often not in a position to implement these principles without further ado. The situation is particularly difficult in the newly founded states, for which the enforcement and safeguarding of national independence has top priority. If, however, ethnic minorities are discriminated against or if they feel this way, or if general human rights are not granted or secured, then those affected try to improve them by creating an autonomy or their own state or by emigrating to their "historic homeland" Able to reach. Governments that are primarily nationally oriented can for their part try to drive groups out of the country or to provoke their flight. Finally, an important component of migration in the transition countries is the restoration of normal proportions in the population distribution. So where the earlier ideologically based industrialization and migration policy had led to corresponding artificial allocations, processes of re-migration can now be expected. Of course, the uncertainties of the current transformation period are likely to lead to a postponement of their migration plans for many of those affected.

International implications of east-west migration after the upheaval

After the establishment of "freedom of travel" and because of the socio-economic and political difficulties of the transformation process, which were unexpectedly great for most people in Eastern Europe, a considerable part of the population in each of these countries has adjusted to a temporary work stay abroad or to permanent emigration. The mass exodus of Albanians to Italy and Greece in 1990 and 1991 as well as the enormously increased extent of migration have generally led to the realization that one is dealing with a qualitatively new component of East-West relations. The information policy of some Eastern European countries as well

Excessive fears in parts of the population of Central and Western Europe have led to horror visions of an unstoppable new migration since 1991.

In the period 1990/91, around 1 million people each probably left the Soviet Union and Romania; In total, around 1 million Eastern Europeans have applied for asylum in Western Europe, and an equally large number probably entered the country illegally. According to a more recent Russian account, 700,000 people emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1990 and "twice as many people" in 1991, while the numbers for Russia fell again for the first time in this period. In 1991 and especially in 1992 the civil war in Yugoslavia had an impact on the dynamic - if the refugee flows had been left to their own devices, not only one in five of the approximately 2.5 million refugees would have gone abroad, but a significantly larger proportion. The military conflicts in the territory of the former Soviet Union, the real danger of the emergence and escalation of further conflicts as well as the occurrence of famine and environmental catastrophes, which cannot be ruled out, could lead to significant flows of migrants and refugees in the next few years, which would also affect other countries . Even under "normal circumstances", almost 20 million Eastern Europeans would like to emigrate to Western Europe, as an EC survey in autumn 1992 showed. The "Provisional Rules for the Issuance of Foreign Passports to Citizens of the Russian Federation", which has been in effect since January 30, 1993, are intended to enable practicable handling of the travel law of the USSR that has come into force; In fact, nothing had changed in terms of the modalities until March 1993. Only the travel law of Russia announced for the near future, the provision of passports to the population and a certain calming of the domestic political situation could lead to a "normal" migration behavior of the Russians in the future. [Fn_1: Rossijskie vesti (further as RV), November 18, 1992, p. 2; Ordinance on trips abroad of January 28, 1993, in: Rossijskie vesti, February 16, 1993, p. 4; Rheinische Post, February 25, 1993. On the problems with the issue of passports and visas that still existed in March 1993 see Sobesednik, 9, 1993, p. 10.]

In addition to the east-west migrations in Europe in the narrower sense, which affect the inhabitants of the European states in different ways, the transit function of Eastern Europe for migrations from third world countries to Western Europe and North America must not be overlooked. Until the end of the 1980s, the GDR in particular played a corresponding role, after that Czechoslovakia and Poland were preferred countries for illegal further migration to the west. The intensive efforts of the international community since 1991 have meanwhile led to a significant tightening of border controls, admission and transit regulations in these and increasingly in the countries bordering south of Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, so that now Russia is increasingly in the focus of migrants and refugees device.

On the migration situation in the area of ​​the former Soviet Union

Since 1992 Russia, as it was called in a report about refugees from Third World countries in Russia, has become the "most open country in Europe". Thousands come to Russia legally or illegally and hope to be able to travel on to Western and Northern Europe or North America. Since they usually do not succeed in doing this, they try to illegally reach their desired country via the Baltic States or Poland.

In Moscow newspapers, advertisements of tourist companies offering the procurement of exit visas appear. In the past two years, more than 250,000 people are said to have entered Europe illegally from Russia. After this direct route no longer seemed safe enough since autumn 1992 due to stricter identity checks, the so-called "transit route" is now said to be particularly popular: The refugees interrupt their flights to Cuba or another South American country, for example in Canada or Denmark, and try to to apply for asylum there.

At the beginning of 1993 there are said to have been around 120,000 illegal foreigners from Third World countries in Moscow alone, as well as larger contingents in the Black Sea ports, in Kiev, St. Petersburg and the

Baltic capitals Riga and Tallinn. At the beginning of 1993, Russia was the only successor state to the Soviet Union that had signed the international refugee conventions; however, the necessary ratification had not yet taken place either. [Fn_2: Moskovskie novosti (further as MN), 50, 1992, p. 4.]

After the Soviet leadership had apparently renounced the direct use of force to suppress national-religious movements in the late 1950s, the continuously growing self-confidence of the peoples led to anti-Russian attitudes that soon became publicly apparent. As a result of this constellation, Russians and members of other Slavic and European ethnic groups emigrated from Transcaucasia and Central Asia as early as the 1970s. [Fn_3: M. Titma / N. Tuma, Reports des BlOst, 22, 1992, p. 2; V. Perevedencev, in: Moscow News, 2, 1993, p. 7.] After 1985/86 these tendencies intensified. It should be noted that the first large streams of refugees came before the declarations of independence by the successor states of the Soviet Union and that these were only exceptionally Russians (primarily Meshes from the Fergana Valley, Azeris and Armenians in connection with the Karabakh conflict). Various indications suggest that the Soviet central government tried to the last to provoke or exacerbate such conflicts in order to prove the necessity of the continued existence of the Soviet Union. [Fn_4: Cf. for example the allegations of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan to the address of the former Soviet leadership, in: Nezavisimaja gazeta (further as NG), January 21, 1993, as well as similar attempts in the Baltic States.]

With the constitution of the fifteen successor states of the Soviet Union, the Russian government saw itself obliged to modify its strategy. She tries to use various instruments to make the entire area of ​​the collapsed Soviet Union the sphere of her vital interests. The strongest trump cards are the presence of the armed forces and border troops as well as parts of the Russian population. In addition, Moscow is trying to keep the Moscow-oriented governments in power in the successor states or to bring them to power. All of these factors and

However, activities have not been able to prevent an increased emigration of Russians and members of other ethnic groups from almost all successor states and that real refugee movements have taken place in connection with armed conflicts.

In early 1993 the head of the Federal Migration Service of Russia, T. Regent, was unable to estimate the total number of refugees. [Fn_5: Rabocaja tribuna, January 16, 1993.] The presumably 300,000 refugees in southern Russia (at the end of 1992) are Russians and Armenians from the conflict zones of Karabakh, Abkhazia and Ossetia as well as from the Chechnya Republic, while the somewhat smaller number in southern western Siberia are refugees from Tajikistan (Russians and other Russian-speaking Europeans ) as well as emigrants from the other Central Asian countries who saw no future prospects for themselves or their children there.

The dramatic escalation of the civil war in Tajikistan in the autumn of 1992 led to significant flows of refugees within the country - allegedly 800,000 people at the end of the year - and outside. While Russian border troops have generally not prevented Tajik refugees from crossing the border into Afghanistan (between 50,000 and 100,000), Russians and "Russian speakers" have fled the southern to the northern part of the country (especially from the Kurgan-Tjube area to Kuljab). At the end of 1992, primarily through the support of Russian and Uzbek associations, the situation was somewhat stabilized by the pro-Russian "Popular Front", but military clashes continue to be reported in various parts of the country and also on the border with Afghanistan; In addition, many believe that a new offensive by the Islamic nationalists in the early summer of 1993 is likely. Several hundred thousand people are said to be sitting "on packed suitcases" and want to leave the troubled country as soon as possible. [Fn_6: NG, December 23, 1992, January 11 and 20, 1993; Izvestija (further as Iz), January 22, 1993; RV, February 17, 1993.]

Similar developments in other CIS countries cannot be ruled out. In this context there is constant speculation that the 25 million Russians and the remaining 50 million people who live outside "their" states could soon become refugees and that "Yugoslavization" of the entire region is to be feared be. The futurologist I. Bestuzhev-Lada, for example, foresees an apocalypse of unimagined proportions, who fears a new edition of the refugee and famine years of 1921/22, 1932/33 and 1946/47 for the period from 1995 onwards. [Fn_7: RV, October 20, 1992.] The very different prognoses about the number of people who will probably come to Russia in the next few years suggest that certain political goals are also being pursued with such "calculations". While lower estimates assume 2-3 million Russians who will return to Russia by the end of the decade - which would only mean a continuation of the previous trend - others consider up to 10 million already possible "in the next few years" . [Fn_8: overview of various estimates, in: B. Knabe, Reports des BlOst, 43, 1992, p. 19.]

The government and the Supreme Soviet of Russia took care of the settlement of the refugee problem late and with little emphasis. At the beginning of 1992 a committee for the affairs of the population migration was set up at the Ministry of Labor, which was replaced in June by the "Federal Migration Service of Russia". Whereas the labor offices and labor offices in the individual areas had previously looked after the refugees and emigrants, territorial migration service organs have now been set up in the more severely affected areas. At the same time, the government adopted a "Migration" program. The conception of the government seeks - through the creation of a comprehensive migration control in the whole of Russia - a regulation of the migration flows; Annual quotas for the resettlement of Russians should, if possible, be agreed with the neighboring states. The service does not deal with the accommodation of returning military personnel, but evacuated family members of officers fall within its competence.

As long as the laws on "refugees" and "emigrants" had not yet come into force, the police or the staff of the service had to divide those arriving into the two categories according to the provisions of "provisional ordinances". Refugees were recognized - and this was the prerequisite for receiving one-off support and help in finding an apartment and a job - anyone who had to leave their place of residence at risk of death. At the end of October 1992, only former residents of Georgia, Tajikistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan and the Chechnya were eligible; the applicant only had to prove their previous place of residence, so they did not have to state specific reasons for eviction. By the beginning of December 1992, six reception centers had been set up in southern Russia and western Siberia, which were also responsible for forwarding refugees to areas in need of labor, apparently mainly to the non-black earth zone of central Russia, including the Bryansk area, which was badly damaged by Chernobyl and Oryol. Officially, only those who have relatives there who have sufficient living space are allowed to move to Moscow, the Moscow Region, St. Petersburg and the Kaliningrad Region. [Note 9: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 1, 1992; RV, December 10, 1992; Trud, January 12, 1993; KomPr, February 4, 1993; LG, 8, 1993, p. 4.]

On February 19, 1993, the Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted the Laws on Refugees and On Forced Resettlers. According to these regulations, foreigners from states outside the CIS area (including the Baltic states) are referred to as "refugees", and all who accept Russian citizenship as "emigrants" (in principle, this is possible for all residents of the former Soviet Union.)

Since 1992/1993, an increasing number of Chinese seem to have been traveling to Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for short or long-term stays for commercial and work activities under the pretext of tourist or official business trips; In contrast, the immigration of Koreans (from both parts of the country) and Vietnamese seem to play only a subordinate role. The travel activities of Mongols are apparently to the republics of Tuva and

Buryatia restricted. In early 1993, an initial agreement between Russia and China on the employment of Chinese people in Russia was reached. The visa-free traffic between the two countries, which was introduced on May 26, 1993, was to be more strictly regulated by a change made on January 29, 1994, due to numerous abuses, although tourist groups still do not need a visa. As early as mid-1993, one of the leaders of the "Siberian Agreement" association, W. Ivankow, declared that Siberia and the Far East would be estimated at one million Chinese. The discrepancy between the official figures and the real situation is supported by the fact that the Federal Migration Service for the Far East Primorye assumed just under 3,000 foreigners, including only 1,620 Chinese, while many reports state that the Chinese are now almost 10 percent of the population of the Far East (of seven million) and already make up the majority of the population in some districts. But even for Moscow at the beginning of 1994 "by extremely modest estimates" it was assumed that there were almost 100,000 Chinese. In the following months, city administrations and certain "social groups" (especially the Cossacks) began to carry out actions against illegal immigrants in almost all areas of southern Siberia. [Fn_10: RV, March 4, 1993; MN No. 38, September 1993; Sibirskaja gazeta nos. 35 and 36, September 1993; Iz, June 22nd, July 8th and 2.11.1994; Megapolis Express No. 1 of 5.1.1994 and No. 16 of May 18, 1994.]

To cope with the problems that arose in this context, President Yeltsin issued an ukase "On the attracting and use of foreign labor in the Russian Federation". As a result, such employment is subject to approval, and quotas are also provided for the regions of Russia (and there also for certain occupational groups). When filling a vacant job, a certain list of priorities should apply from now on - accordingly, Russian citizens rank first, followed by refugees from neighboring countries and those who are permanently in Russia. Foreign workers are only allowed to be hired in fourth and last place. When this happens they must be the same

Receive wages like their Russian colleagues and also have a comparable social status (including family members living with them). Those foreigners who are already in Russia must apply for a permit within the next three months, with exceptions. Special regulations have also been introduced for Moscow, for example. [Fn_11: MN No. 1, January 1994. On the regulations for Moscow see Iz, June 18, 1994.] In order to counteract some of the problems that arose during the "settlement" in Siberia, the Ministry of Labor issued an order in April 1994, according to which those affected must be paid both the relocation costs and compensation for the other benefits agreed in individual employment contracts. [Fn_12: Kommersant No. 15, April 1994.]

As early as the autumn of 1993, official representatives of Russia declared that the country would not be able to fulfill the obligations resulting from its accession to the Geneva Convention on Refugees. The Moscow office of the UNHCR nonetheless began to register asylum seekers and sought their temporary accommodation. On the other hand, practically nothing was done on the Russian side; By mid-1994, not a single camp for asylum seekers had been set up. An interview with Ju in April 1994 was titled "Russia has become a Mecca for illegal migrants". Archipov published, [Fn_13: NG 6.11.1990.] the head of the administration for external migration of the Federal Migration Service. With astonishing frankness he announced that Russia had only ratified the Geneva Convention in order to receive Western aid for Russian internally displaced persons. Since this had not happened, Russia was forced to revise the refugee law. The 50,000 asylum seekers registered by the UNHCR up to March 1994 had to undergo a new registration by the Federal Migration Service, since the UNHCR procedure was not carried out properly and without coordination with the Russian government. After all, he announced the opening of a first reception center in the Perm region in the early summer of 1994, and another ten to

twelve camps would follow. If asylum seekers do not adhere to the planned strict regulations, they would have to expect their deportation, as happened in 1993 with some Chinese and Vietnamese. [Fn_14: NG 9.1.1994.] When Foreign Minister Kozyrev, through various initiatives, signaled Russia's readiness to take on a greater role in global refugee problems at the end of 1993, this offer must arouse some astonishment in view of the failure of Russian refugee policy in recent years. Russia wants to become a full member of the UNHCR and actively participate in its executive committee. Kosyrev would like to equip the CSCE and the Council for North Atlantic Cooperation with greater powers as instruments of refugee policy.

International implications

The EC countries have been trying to standardize their refugee policy as far as possible since 1985, the reason being the Schengen Agreement agreed at the time to create a "Europe without borders". A first success was achieved in 1990 with the adoption of the Dublin Convention. The Maastricht agreements also agreed to harmonize immigration policy, which includes family reunification, the treatment of illegal migration, deportation practices and the employment of foreign workers (from non-EC countries). Under the direction of the Secretariat of the Informal Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policy in Europe, North America and Australia, which was set up in Geneva in 1985 and in which 16 countries are involved, a "strategy program" was drawn up in 1990 to prevent mass emigration by influencing the triggering factors want to reduce. [Fn_15: J. Widgren, Die Necessary Wedge for Better Coordination of European Asylum and Migration Policy (unpublished manuscript of a paper), Munich 1992.]
The authors assume that such strategies can only come into effect in the long term and that medium and short-term asylum and migration policy measures are therefore indispensable. The "strategy program" contains five key areas:

  1. Greater cooperation between the participating states and the Eastern European states to implement the system of the Dublin Convention;
  2. Accelerating the asylum procedure and any rejection decision in connection with return and reintegration programs;
  3. Promotion of projects in the countries of origin, in coordination with the respective governments, to reduce the pressure to emigrate;
  4. a new conception of development aid that also takes into account migration factors and population policies;
  5. Optimizing the functioning of the relevant international structures in order to achieve a more closely coordinated policy (EC, OECD, CSCE and UN): The UN should soon submit an initiative to enable a previously non-existent dialogue between South and North.

The German federal government is trying to contribute its share to the "normalization" of east-west migration within the framework of these internationally possible or desirable measures. Germany is particularly exposed in several respects: It continues to have to do with very strong immigration pressure from ethnic German repatriates, asylum seekers and civil war refugees from the former Yugoslavia. The so far unsuccessful efforts of the international bodies to end the civil war in the Balkans and to guarantee survival for the refugees there inevitably lead to a pessimistic mood there and in similarly sensitive regions of Europe. The difficult coordination process at the international level is made even more complicated in many countries, especially in Germany, by the opposing attitudes of the various political camps. Without

sustained intensive efforts by the international bodies involved, without the countries involved and without the willingness to introduce fundamentally new elements of migration policy (G. Becker) [Fn_16: Proposals of the Nobel Prize Winner for Economics 1992 on "Admission Prices for Immigrants", in: NZZ, November 4, 1992.] Considerable disruptions in world politics due to migration must be expected in the next few years.

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