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22 Feb, 2008 13:51

Medvedev builds bridges at CIS summit

Moscow was hosting a summit of leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The favourite for the Russian presidential election, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, has used the opportunity to build closer personal relations with the heads

Migration was high on the meeting’s agenda. Russia is attracting many immigrants from its neighbours and many of them work in the country illegally. Experts estimate the number of illegal guest workers coming to Russia every year to be as high as 14 million.

The other side of the coin is the rise of intolerance and xenophobia. Vladimir Putin, who was chairing the summit, said Russia is doing much to prevent crime and protect people coming to the country to work or as tourists.

Transport and economic co-operation were also brought to the table. The leaders shared their ideas on improving transportation networks.