Interview with Elena Tyuryukanova

Elena Tyuryukanova from the Institute of Socio-Economic Population Studies commented on Russia today on the struggle to improve the demographic situation in Russia.

Russia Today: Some experts and politicians say Russia and other Western countries will not be able to survive without migration. Is the situation really that bad?

Elena Tyuryukanova: Generally I agree but I do not want to make a qualitative estimation that this is really bad. Migration is a good thing. Definitely we need migrants, at least because we have 90 MLN decrease of labour force up to 2025, so this is not a forecast, but just a calculation, because the people we are talking about have already been born.

RT: There's a certain paradox. The government wants those who come to work in Russia to have a certain level of education and professionalism, but at the same time immigrants are much more in demand when it comes to menial jobs. Is it so?

E.T.: I would say we need both highly-qualified migrants and low-skilled ones. But the thing is that highly-qualified migrants contribute much more to the national economy of receiving countries, not only Russia. Of course, the government feels this and everybody understands this fact. They contribute a lot to the GDP. The very rough estimation is that now the migrants contribute 8-9% to the national GDP.

RT: Is it possible to control in Russia who is entering because it seems in the world of the social equity there will always be illegal immigration – even countries like the U.S. have it?

E.T.: We can say that we will always have illegal immigration in our world but for me the nature of this illegality is very interesting. Actually, that’s very hard to determine which people are illegal, who makes them illegal. And if this is the state, the national immigration policy, which will push the people from the formal relations, from the formal society to informal relations, to illegal space I would say, – that’s bad. The Russian immigration policy is going in the right direction, from my point of view. If we take the most recent changes in migration policy, we will see that the main direction is liberalisation, and procedures to migrate legally are being made easier and clearer for those who enter.