GENERICO.ruRussia"Nothing - will they tolerate"?

“Nothing – will they tolerate”?

Since December 29, almost all foreigners who live in Russia, as well as their family members, according to the new law, are required to undergo an X-ray examination and take urine and blood tests every three months. They will be tested for leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis and HIV.

The business community strongly opposed the new norms and even sent an appeal to ministers with a request to amend the legislation – such measures in relation to top managers in the business world were perceived as unacceptable. Human rights activists even call the law discriminatory and believe that it can become an aid for corruption schemes in the field of migration. The Federation of Migrants of Russia promised that foreigners from developed countries will not be tested for diseases every three months, “because this is stupidity.”

The new norms were introduced as an update of the laws “On the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation” and “On state fingerprint registration in the Russian Federation”. State Duma deputies adopted the document on June 15, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed it on July 1. The Ministry of Internal Affairs insisted on the reform of migration legislation back in 2020.

According to the law, labor migrants will also be obliged to undergo examinations by narcologists, psychiatrists and infectious disease specialists within 30 days after entering Russia. Then, after the expiration of the validity of the medical certificate, that is, after three months, the migrant needs to undergo tests again.

Fingerprinting for all migrants will help to avoid the problem when violators expelled from the country change their last name and call in again, says Vadim Kozhenov, President of the Russian Federation of Migrants and a member of the public council at the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow. “As soon as we control all foreigners by fingerprints, this problem will disappear completely,” he assured.

Foreigners must be fingerprinted and photographed on their own. After the expiration of the term of medical documents, that is, after three months, foreign citizens must again undergo all examinations.

If foreigners are diagnosed with a disease or if they refuse to provide data, they may be recognized as “undesirable” in the country or they may have a shortened period of stay in Russia.

Children under six years old, citizens of Belarus, as well as diplomats and their families were exempted from these requirements on the basis of the principle of reciprocity with their countries.

In June 2020, COVID-19 was included in the list of diseases that pose a danger to others, and therefore migrants were obliged to provide also a negative PCR test when obtaining a residence permit or patent.

Initially, the list of those who should undergo fingerprinting and medical examination did not include highly qualified specialists and officials of international organizations. However, later, the Ministry of Internal Affairs proposed to extend these requirements to them.

Photo: Valentin Egorshin/TASS

“Not a single legislative act has caused such a wave of indignation”

Representatives of the business community opposed regular testing for HIV and drugs of foreign top managers working in Russia. The appeal (at the disposal of Novaya Gazeta) is addressed to First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Andrei Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, as well as Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, heads of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Economic Development.

The letter was signed, in particular, by the Chairman of the Board of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce Matthias Schepp, General Director of the Association of European Businesses Tadzio Schilling, representatives of other European chambers of commerce, as well as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia Robert Agee.

“For a long time, no legislative act has caused such a wave of misunderstanding, disappointment and indignation among thousands of foreign top and middle managers,” the letter says. The changes will significantly complicate the process of attracting foreign investment to Russia and will lead to an outflow of highly qualified foreign specialists, the signatories say.

“Rarely was a storm of indignation among Germans and other foreigners living in Russia as strong as that which has been going on since last week.

Then a legislative act was published obliging foreigners working in Russia, as well as their family members, to undergo a number of medical examinations every three months, “Torsten Gutmann, director of the communications and marketing department of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce, said in response to a request from Novaya./p>

According to him, for several months the business community did everything to prevent the introduction of these provisions, but managed to achieve only partial success.

“Initially, the examination should have been required at each entry, now every three months. We received the first negative feedback about what is happening in the respective medical centers last week, “Gutman added.

According to representatives of the business community, the new legislation does not take into account the importance of foreign specialists for the economic growth and prosperity of Russia …

The signatories made their proposals to the Russian authorities. In particular, in the opinion of business, it is possible to exclude COVID from the grounds for refusing to issue or cancel documents necessary for foreigners, to exempt highly qualified foreign specialists from the need to undergo a medical examination, to allow the translator to be present during a medical examination without additional formalities, and also to exclude duplicate examinations (in in particular, citizens from visa countries are already taking an HIV test when they receive a work visa) and allow the transfer of medical certificates to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to representatives of foreigners by power of attorney.

Kozhenov, who, as an expert, finalizes draft laws on migrants, in a conversation with Novaya “Said that the proposals of the European chambers of commerce are unlikely to be considered when changing legislation. Nevertheless, he noted that he fully agreed with the proposal to exclude covid from the list of diseases on the basis of which migrants were denied the necessary documents.

“Indeed, if a person has a covid, on this basis it is wrong to refuse him, in my opinion.

The problem concerns not only, conditionally, the Germans – it is a massive problem, it concerns all foreigners. If a person has a covid, he may have problems with the timing of his stay in Russia. We see that people are recovering, live and work in peace. Therefore, of course, covid should, in my opinion, be excluded from the list of diseases on the same shelf as HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis, “Kozhenov argues.

Photo: Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

Kozhenov assures that no one has ever repaired any obstacles regarding translators during the medical examination of migrants. “As for the translator, you just need to find out what the practice is. I am inclined to think that there are no regulations at all, there is just practice. The practice is very easy to change with the simple direction of a great leader. We must understand that this is systemic nonsense. Or maybe she’s not there, ”concluded Kozhenov.

“ As if it’s a medical examination at the military registration and enlistment office ”

Journalist Vladislav and his young man from France, advertising specialist in one of the large companies Alexander (names have been changed at the request of the heroes . – Ed .), fear that their lives will change dramatically after the entry into force of the new law.

Alexander has been living in Russia for over 20 years. Now he is going to renew his visa, however, in addition to this, soon he will need to deal with the documents and undergo examinations every three months: “You will have to travel, take tests all the time. This is a very long time, it takes a huge amount of time. You need to go to Sakharovo, to the Multifunctional Migration Center, which they built near Podolsk. Two hours there, two hours back. You cannot take these tests in the city, you cannot ask someone to take these tests, for example, a courier or an agency. You have to go there myself.

When renewing documents, you have to go to the center four times: apply for renewal, pick up your passport with a visa, get tested, get a test certificate and hand it over to where visas are issued. Four days fly out of life, “- said Vladislav.

According to him, just to get tested, you need to spend about seven thousand rubles. On the Internet, you can find medical services for issuing a certificate of passing a medical commission for foreign citizens, their cost varies from 3 to 10 thousand rubles.

“I believe that this law is not needed, it is discrimination against a person. Initially, all foreigners were always checked for HIV infection and those who were found to have this HIV infection were expelled. Human rights activists and journalists said that this is discrimination, because there is no objective reason why an HIV-infected foreigner cannot live in Russia. If a foreigner is taking antiretroviral therapy, then he is not dangerous to others. We have an HIV epidemic in Russia among Russian citizens, not among foreigners. This law has been criticized for a long time, ”Vladislav continues.

In his opinion, when, in addition to various diseases, a person is tested for the use of prohibited substances, the rules become “even more discriminatory.” He noted that many of the diseases on the lists, such as syphilis, tuberculosis and leprosy, can be cured.

“It is not clear why a person with syphilis, which can be cured in a month, should be denied a visa if he can be perfectly cured in Russia, for money or under medical insurance. & nbsp;

As for the use of prohibited substances, I do not understand, on what basis the state should check what substances a person uses if he is not suspected of committing any crimes? ” – says the young man.

All examinations by narcologists and psychiatrists will take “about one minute” and will be purely formal, “as if it were a medical examination at a military registration and enlistment office,” he added.

Over the past 10 years, the rules for foreigners in Russia have become much stricter. especially for the “labor force” and migrants from Central Asia. “But no one has ever touched highly qualified specialists. This is the first time that the state has decided to limit the lives of specialists so severely, “Vladislav summed up.

Charles Maines, an American journalist for National Public Radio who has been living in Russia for over 10 years, shared his thoughts on the new law for Novaya. “Anyway, a law is a law, you have to fulfill it. It is also understandable that it will not be easy to comply with. I spoke with experts, they said that there will be more bureaucracy. This, of course, is inconvenient, but somehow you have to cope. There are many questions, how will all this be organized further? ” – he says.

According to him, so far there is uncertainty in the new rules, and due to the lack of clear regulations it is not clear how to proceed. “The rules change very often in Russia. However, many organizational questions arise. I may not fully understand the purpose of the new rules, but maybe it will be seen later, “he added.

” An excellent way to turn all migrants into dependent “

With the fact that the new legislation discriminates against the rights of foreign citizens, agrees also the head of the non-profit organization of assistance to migrants “Tong Jahoni”, citizen of Uzbekistan Valentina Chupik .

harmful. If we are talking about collecting money (all tests need to be done for money), then, of course, this is such a profit from scratch. This is an opportunity to blackmail everyone.

This is the possibility of extortion, such an excellent way to delegitimize migrants, making them all dependent.

In order to discriminate and collect bribes is the best thing that can be done come up with, “Chupik said.

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