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President Dmitry Medvedev urged the government on Monday to carry out a clear and understandable migration policy in Russia, but opposed the formation of "Chinatowns" in the country.
"Both the registration and migration policies must be clearly defined and understandable to people. We cannot block the movement of people within our country, but we must know what is going on," Medvedev said.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, particularly Moscow, saw a strong inflow of foreign migrant workers. Many of them stayed in the country illegally because official residence registration processes were too complicated and time-consuming.
The president ruled out any particular decisions on the formation of compact areas for inhabitants of particular ethnic groups.
"Our country is on the move. There will certainly be new construction, but we will not form 'Chinatowns' on purpose in Russia," he said.
He said it should be clear for everyone that Russia is a united country and all must learn to live in peace.
His statement comes in the wake of the biggest public disturbances in the Russian capital for almost a decade. On December 11, a 5,000-strong crowd of nationalists and football hooligans, mostly young people, clashed with police at Manezh Square in downtown Moscow.
The clash was followed on December 15 by further disturbances as ethnic Russians and internal migrants gathered for a confrontation near a major train terminus in Moscow. Race-hate riots also occurred in St. Petersburg and other large Russian cities.
MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti)
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