Russian President calls for review of immigration laws

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on 04 October called for a review of immigration laws that allow foreigners to work and do business in Russia.

Following a diplomatic row last week over the arrest of Russian officers in Tbilisi, Russia suspended all transportation and mail links with Georgia. The move could prove to be a serious blow to the economy of the South Caucasus country, where money transfers from Russia, predominantly by illegal immigrants, account for 4% of GDP.

Moscow police also conducted a series of raids on gambling outlets, closing some for being related to the Georgian criminal underworld.

"Our economy was, is and will be absolutely open and transparent, and it must attract foreign capital and the skills we need. But immigration should be regulated so that our people will not feel themselves at a disadvantage in certain sectors of the economy," Putin said.

The president said immigration laws should comply with international standards, and must be neither jingoistic, on the one hand, nor detrimental to the rights of Russians on the other hand.

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