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Empty Markets of Russia
April 5, 2007 16:10

Starting 1 April a new Act has come into force in Russia: foreigners are prohibited to trade at Russian markets. The officials say that the range of products hasn’t been reduced and there will be no upraise in prices. However, there are those who don’t subscribe to this point of view.

The migratory legislation was amended after several accidents took place in a small town of Kondopoga located in Karelia, the northern part of Russia. Kondopoga’s local market was under control of the Caucasians who impede the citizens to trade at the market. A fight between the two parties caused two deaths and engineered riots on inter-ethnic grounds. The participants of the meeting held on the 2nd of September demanded that all the Caucasians must leave the local market. A number of bashings and arsons of trading spots belonging to the Caucasians was noticed in the town.

 Thus, the President charged the government up to the 15th of November to prepare offers regulating the order of attracting foreign workers to labor activity in Russia and controlling the trade operations at wholesale and retail markets. The draft created by the Cabinet implied all foreign workers to be prohibited to trade in alcohol and medicines starting the 1st of January, moreover, since the 15th of January the number of foreigners allowed to trade at Russian markets reduced to 40% and several days ago they were banned from trading at all.

A survey conducted by the all-Russian public opinion research centre the day before foreigners were prohibited to work in retail trading sphere showed: 27% of the Russians had noticed upraise in prices at markets and 21% of the polled said that the variety of products available grew short. The heads of the relevant Federal departments in their turn see the positive effect of the measures imposed in respect to labor protection. They claim increase of prices is of seasonal nature and the variety of products remains the same.

 The ministers believe that the steps taken will help to liquidate “slavery” having place at the Russian market. The point is that the vast majority of migrants coming to Russia in search of better life and money to support their families at home considered outlaws and have no rights, therefore they are paid twice or thrice less than a regular worker is. Due to the changed migratory legislation only people with Russian citizenship can be accepted for a job in this sector, which means that the entrepreneurs will have to increase salary paid to their workers and raise prices on products to compensate new expenses.

Moscow authorities have announced all markets of the capital will be examined shortly. The similar inspections are being held in regions at the moment, and Russian citizens can inform a local police station about violations at the markets.

Nevertheless, the biggest trading in Russia Azerbaijani Diaspora is confirmed nothing will change starting the 1st of April, as almost all trading at Russian markets Azerbaijani are citizens of Russia and have Russian passports, so their activity can’t be regarded as violation of the legislation.

However, foreigners can find another job at the same market where they used to sell products: as loaders, janitors, administrators, managers and others.


Olga Pletneva

Read more on this topic:

    Migrants prohibited to trade at Russian markets
    Migrants to have limited choice of work


Tags: Russian laws Russian labor market Russian trade   

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