Nine out of 10 Russians are in favor of measures limiting migrant workers coming to the country. There is particularly high resentment of workers from the Caucasus region and Central Asia, as a DW survey shows.
A clear majority of 86 percent of Russians are in favor of government limits on work migration to Russia, much of which comes from the states the emerged out of the breakup of the former Soviet Union, according to the current DW Trend for Russia. The survey was conducted just before the latest xenophobic riots took place in Moscow.
DW's Russian department commissioned the survey by the Ukrainian IFAK polling institute, which interviewed more than 1,000 citizens in Russia, aged between 18 and 65. The participants, who live in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, were interviewed on the phone.
The participants differed in their views of political measures to support integration. Some 43 percent of Russians were in favor while 45 percent were against the idea of the government promoting integration among migrants working in Russia.
While Russia's declining birth rate makes the country increasingly dependent on guest workers from former Soviet states, only one in four surveyed said migrants were a benefit to the Russian economy. Just over half of all interviewees did not see migrants as providing any benefit for Russia's economy at all.
Apart from the implications on the Russian economy, the topic of migration also has a substantial ethnic dimension, and participants' answers differed depending on their countries of origin. There is less resentment of guest workers from Belarus and Ukraine than of migrants coming from the Caucasus region and Central Asian states.
Some 41 percent of participants said they accept guest workers from Belarus, and 34 percent said the same about workers from Ukraine. But a mere 5 percent welcomed migrant workers from Central Asia, and only 3 percent wanted workers from Caucasus region in their neighborhood.
Most Russians (78 percent) can't imagine going abroad as a migrant worker to earn money there themselves. Only 17 percent didn't rule out taking such a step.