Russian migration service reports anomalous spike in Armenian immigrants
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy says the number of migrants from Armenia has increased in Russia – several times over.
The figure for 2019 is higher than the numbers of all the previous ten years.
In the first four months, Russia received more migrants from Armenia than in the whole of last year, the institute says.
A study by the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy states that during the first four months of 2019, the increase in net migration to the Russian Federation was 98,000.
In comparison, the figure was 57,100 people in 2018.
The number of migrants from Armenia and Ukraine increased the most, the report says.
In January-April 2018, 4,900 migrants came from Armenia to Russia, while in 2019, this figure increased by more than 2.5 times and amounted to 12,800 people.
“This is the fourth largest figure after Tajikistan: 31,000, Kazakhstan: 26,500 and Ukraine: 14,800,” the report says.
The report also notes that as of June 1, 2019, there were 490,000 Armenian citizens in Russia.
Russian experts doubt the accuracy of the data:
“The reasons for this [sharp migration increase from many countries] are incomprehensible. I think that the system for recording migration or processing migration information has undergone some changes, about which we do not yet know, because Rosstat does not report anything about them. This is unnatural growth”, says Nikita Mkrtchyan, a leading researcher at the Institute of Demography at the Higher School of Economics.
Armenian experts are trying to explain the reasons for the increase in the numbers as well.
The chairman of the Yerevan Press Club, Boris Navasardyan, believes that traditional seasonal migration could play a role, as well as some disappointment with the pace of changes expected in the country:
“People, especially those who did not work abroad, were inspired by the revolution [ed. The Velvet Revolution spring 2018]. They had the hope that they could live much better in Armenia. But since the changes that they expected did not occur or did not happen, the earlier trend of earlier years has simply been resumed. And now people are looking for their place under the sun outside of Armenia.”
Social media reacts
Facebook users are divided. Some believe that the numbers are greatly exaggerated, while others say that the growth of migration out of the country is the fault of the new government.
Here are some characteristic comments:
“Well, the Indians in Armenia will not have strong competition. Soon there will be a visa-free regime – there will be even more of them.”
“Pashinyan needs to present this when he says that there is work, but he does not say how much they pay for such work! They take the people for idiots.”
“Wherever they leave, in the end everyone will return. People understand that they will not find a better place than Armenia. And it’s not like they are waiting there with open arms!”
“In Russia, it is no longer as good to live as it used to be. Those who do go realize they don’t want to work for 500 rubles, and then they come back.”