In 2017, the migration increase in the population of Russia occurred mainly due to the Belarusians who arrived in the country. Such data are given in a study prepared by the Russian Institute of Demography of the Russian High School of Economics. The authors of the "Migration in Russia. Preliminary results of 2017" study refer to the operational data of foreign citizens’ registration arriving in Russia.
As noted in the study, in 2017, compared to 2016, "the migration growth in Russia's population increased in exchange with Belarus (4.5 times), Kyrgyzstan (75%), Tajikistan (27%), Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Georgia (by 13-19%) ". At the same time, migration growth in exchange with other CIS countries decreased, especially in the situation with Ukraine. The authors of the report also draw attention to the fact that in 2011-2017 the number of citizens who came to Russia from Belarus has been constantly increasing.
It should be noted that the tendency of Belarusians to move to Russia is also fixed by Belarusian business unions. Chairman of the Belarusian Entrepreneurs Union Alexander Kalinin drew attention to this trend at a press conference in February 2018, BelaPAN informs. "There is a tendency among young people; we can see this trend when our citizens move to Russia, open a business there and then start to get citizenship there. I personally know a few entrepreneurs who were fined in Belarus, moved to Russia and feel great there," Kalinin said.
He also stressed that the state should not encourage the transition of Belarusians to Russian citizenship. "We all need to think about this. Therefore, it is very important to deal with the decriminalization of economic activities. There should be reasonable penalties and reasonable responsibility for the offenses," said the chairman of the Belarusian Entrepreneurs Union.
Recall that the main labor market for Belarusians is Russia - in 2017, 6,165 residents of Belarus officially left there for work (although real figures are not known). The second in attractiveness for Belarusians was the Polish market, where 2 969 people left to work.
The third and fourth places were taken by the USA (473) and Lithuania (410). According to the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, in 2017, 15,844 people came to work from abroad. For comparison, in 2016 in Belarus, 20,791 foreigners were employed, and in 2015 31,768 people. Thus, in 2017 the number of labor migrants who came to work decreased by almost 24%, while the number of Belarusians who left for work abroad increased by more than 44%.