New migration agency to be created following Moscow concert hall terror attack

A new government department tasked with managing Russia’s migration policy is to be created later this month according to a report in state-affiliated Russian business daily Vedomosti on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to attend a meeting of the Council on Interethnic Relations on 24 April where he is expected to announce the creation of the new agency to manage migration policy and interethnic relations, according to multiple Kremlin and government sources that spoke to Vedomosti.

The Kremlin initiative comes amid calls for tighter migration control following last month’s terror attack on Crocus City Hall by Tajik nationals, which left 144 dead. Among those urging a change of policy, former presidential candidate Vladislav Davankov proposed deporting migrants “for the slightest offence”, while State Duma Deputy Mikhail Sheremet called for migration to be strictly limited in an attempt to counter terrorism.

The day following the attack, police raided dormitories known to house migrants across Moscow according to a report by state-owned news outlet More than 400 migrants living in St. Petersburg were expelled for immigration violations following raids according to the city’s court press service on Saturday.

Citizens of Tajikistan were already leaving Russia voluntarily fearing reprisals for the concert hall attack, Tajikistan’s Labour Ministry said on Saturday. Valentina Cupik, a human rights lawyer focused on migration rights, told independent news outlet Mediazona she had received more than 2,500 reports of “acts of aggression” against migrants from Central Asia in the days following the Crocus City Hall attack.

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