Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Far Eastern migration: how to manage?

The state presented two concepts for regulating migration in the Far East. Analyzes and compares the expert EastRussia

Far Eastern migration: how to manage?
Photo: shutterstock.com

Nikita Mkrtchyan

Leading Researcher of the Institute of Demography of the National Research University of Higher School of Economics, Leading Researcher of the INSAP RASHiGS
Almost simultaneously, two documents are presented to the court of experts, demonstrating the state vision of the migration problems of the Far East and proposing ways to solve them. We are talking about the projects of the concept of the dempolitics of the Far East for the period up to 2025 (developed by the Ministry of the Interior of Russia) and the Concept of the Migration Policy of the Russian Federation prepared by the Ministry of the Interior. The last document, unlike the current 2012 Concept Concept, is with an unclear implementation horizon, but it involves the adoption of an action plan for the period of 2018-2020.

What is proposed in terms of addressing migration in the east of Russia? Both texts mention the need to "stimulate" internal migration to the regions of the Far East and Transbaikalia from other regions of the country, the priority resettlement of immigrants from other countries. The concept of dempolitics, in addition, contains measures to reduce the outflow of population from the region, including youth. The second approach is more complex, but from this it does not become more realistic.

It is also planned to stop migration outflow from the eastern regions of Russia in the current Concept of Migration Policy for the period up to 2025 (the document developed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs proposes to abolish it), such concepts were also adopted in the 2003 Concept of Regulation of Migration Processes in the Russian Federation.

Measures are offered basically the same, comparable, for example:

- active economic and urban development policies in these regions, including the development and implementation of investment programs, the development of social, transport and market infrastructure (Document 2003)

- Increase the investment attractiveness of the regions of the Far East, Siberia, border and strategically important territories in order to create the necessary social and transport infrastructure for resettlement, as well as reduce transport isolation from the regions of Central Russia (Concept - 2012)

- Increasing the investment attractiveness of the regions of the Far East, the Baikal region, the border and strategically important territories in order to create the social and transport infrastructure necessary for resettlement, as well as reducing the transport isolation from the regions of Central Russia (A project proposed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs).

Almost 15 years have passed, why does nothing change?

In 2003, the migration loss of the population of the regions of the Far East was 25 thousand people, in 2012 - 20 thousand people, in 2015 - 24 thousand people. The outflow in internal migration has even increased somewhat, but in recent years it has been somewhat compensated by international migrants. Investment projects are being carried out in the regions (there was even a mega-project timed to coincide with the APEC-2012 Summit), but it turns out that they do not in any way affect the migration balance. And they could not influence, given that the main money of the country is still spinning in Moscow, and investments are flowing there. Urban planners expect that as a result of the implementation of projects in the "old" and "new" Moscow and around it, the population of the country's largest agglomeration will reach 30 million people, the "Big Sochi", Crimea is developing ... Meanwhile, not only the Far East is emptying, but also the entire Russian hinterland, even indigenous, populated for centuries - Tver, Novgorod, Kostroma, Pskov, Smolensk regions. Bad roads, the closure of schools and hospitals - such phenomena are common outside of large cities.

The Concept for the Development of the Far East places hopes on attracting compatriots living abroad to the region. The corresponding State Program was adopted in 2007, from the very beginning it applies to many regions of the Far East, here for compatriots more significant lifting ones were provided for than in other regions. But over 10 years, the number of participants in the State Program in the regions of the Far East amounted to 33 thousand, or less than 6% of their number in the country. The main incentive to participate in the program for compatriots is not "lifting", but the possibility of a simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship, but for this it is not necessary to go to the Far East. The state program is already operating in the vast majority of regions of Russia. Now a lot is written about the Old Believers, as if people even from Latin America were drawn to the Far East. The media are susceptible to the exotic, but, apparently, things are bad, since the stake is placed on Russians from Bolivia or Uruguay.

The Draft Concept of the Ministry of Internal Affairs proposes a measure, which is most often written: "Increase of the amount of state support provided for one employee, attracted within the framework of the regional program to increase labor mobility in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, the recruitment of labor resources to which is a priority, included in the Far Eastern Federal District, to 1 million rubles". Let's say that 10 billion rubles will be allocated to DFO regions, this will attract 10 thousand employees. Together with family members, they can "flow" 25-30 thousand people, for several years. Quite a lot, but the migration outflow, as mentioned above, is about 20-25 thousand people per year.

And there is a question: will this support be provided only to those who come from the western regions? If residents of the Far East regions are deprived of such support, it will not only be unfair, but also lead to the fact that people can travel to other regions, and then enter as "attracted from outside." So it was in the USSR, when the introduced coefficients to wages in the Far North and in the equated areas first spread to specialists who came from other regions and did not apply to local workers. And the second important question: if high-productivity jobs are created in the region, is it not the employer's question to provide the employee with such salary bonuses? Or the business climate in the region such that only one million can lure those who want to "do something" ...

The Far East was, and, alas, remains a distant outskirts of Russia, and measures of migration policy that relies on attracting migrants from other regions of the country, this problem can not be solved. In a territory that is larger than the EU, there is not a single city with a million population (the nearest Russian near-millionaire is Krasnoyarsk). Many residents have never been to the European part of Russia, and among residents of the western regions in the Far East there were only a few percent - road tickets. This for the power of the region can be "strategically important" and "geopolitically significant." People when choosing a place of residence think in other categories.

It should be borne in mind that the Far East is in general a region with complex natural and climatic conditions, it is no coincidence that most of the territory belongs to the Far North and the areas equated to it. By the standards of the planetary North, the Far East is not so badly populated. And this despite the fact that even the south of the region, where there are a few large cities, in natural and climatic terms is inferior to cities located on the same latitudes, for example, Canada. Khabarovsk with a population of a little more than 0,6 million is close to the position of Canadian Winnipeg with about the same population. Vladivostok (0,6 million, with an agglomeration - under a million) is south of Vancouver (the same 0,6 million, but with an agglomeration - more than two million). However, the climate in Vancouver is softer, while in Vladivostok "latitude is Crimean, and longitude is Kolyma." Anchorage in Alaska (0,3 million), located at the latitude of our Magadan (less than 0,1 million), by natural conditions is much more comfortable for living and comparable, rather, with Vladivostok. And in the higher latitudes of the American continent there is nothing like, for example, Yakutsk (0,3 million). So reducing the population to certain limits, especially in the north of the region - the process is quite natural.

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