19 Dec 2018 13:50

Half of Russians welcome skilled foreign workers - poll

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) - Half of Russians are in favor of young and educated migrants coming to Russia and barring unskilled workers, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) said on Wednesday.

A quarter of respondents hold the opposite view.

Forty-eight percent said that migrants compensate for the deficit of unskilled and low-pay workers, and 21% share this opinion to some extent, according to the VCIOM.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said that migrants create competition on the labor market and "steal" jobs from the local population. This opinion was partially shared by 21% of respondents and opposed by 28%, the VCIOM said.

Half of respondents said that migrants increase the crime rate, 26% partially agree, and 19% disagree.

Nineteen percent said that migration is a generally positive phenomenon for the economy (16% in 2013), and 35% partially agree.

Forty-three percent did not agree that migration benefits Russia's economic development.

Among countries whose citizens are welcomed by the greatest number of Russians are Belarus (25%), Ukraine (21%), Germany (16%), and Kazakhstan (15%). The most unwelcome are citizens of Tajikistan (15%), Uzbekistan (14%), Ukraine (13%), the United States (11%), and China (9%).

"The attitude to migrants has become a bit more positive over the past 15 years. There are at least three reasons for this trend. First of all, Russians have grown accustomed to migrants; obviously, they come here to earn money, not to seize living space (it is not a secret that such fears existed in the early 2000s)," VCIOM research department head Stepan Lvov was quoted as saying.

"Second, there are elements of a constructive and rational attitude to migrants: roles and statuses are known, niches are occupied, and a general consensus has been reached. Third, what television says about migrant problems in Europe makes the situation in Russia look practically normal. Of course, there are still many problems in relations with migrants, but Russian society does not feel alarmed about them," he said.

The VCIOM polled 1,600 respondents older than 18 on December 16.