More than 70 % of Russians want to see fewer migrants in their country, a public opinion poll suggests.


“Despite the fact that 61% of the polled said they would not mind their children communicating with migrant kids and another 50% came out against creating any special residential areas for labor migrants, most Russians (78%) still want to reduce the migrant influx into Russia,” the press service of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center said on Tuesday.


Sixty-three percent of respondents, nearly twice as many in cities than in rural areas (70% and 46%, respectively), said they could feel migrant presence in their populated localities.


Most Russians (67%), according to the pollster, realize that migrants are employed at jobs, which the Russians themselves do not want to do.


As for migrants’ influence on the socio-economic situation in Russian regions, every third Russian (36%) considers migrants to be a source of additional infusions into the Russian economy (50% of respondents disagreed with that view). Fifty-seven percent of the polled believe that migrants offer a number of services (such as repairs and construction, for example) at cheaper rates than native-born citizens.


Yelena Mikhailova, director of the pollster’s social programs, believes that huge numbers of migrants employed in Russia’s grey economy negatively influence the regional labor markets. She thinks that employers who use illegal schemes of hiring migrant laborers should face penalties. “As for breaching the social gap between migrants and the local people, it is obvious that along with adaptation and integration programs Russia needs measures to enable its own population to learn more about the customs and traditions of migrants’ native countries,” Mikhailova explained.


The Russian Public Opinion Research Center conducted its opinion poll, in which people aged 18 and up took part in 130 populated localities on November 17-24.