Migration to Russia and Current Economic Crises
Using the most recent statistical data (from Russian Central Bank and Federal Migration Service), author explores the size and demographic composition of migration flows to Russia. However, the relative weakness of the data on migration makes disaggregating policy changes, economic trends, and geopolitical dynamics challenging. Author’s intervention is to track twin dynamics: with an outflow of migrants, there is a corresponding influx of remittances. Without a healthy Russian economy, however, the attraction for Central Asians is less, and remittances back to the Uzbek economy in particular are affected. This demonstrates how migration processes are not only impacted by economic changes like the price of oil, but themselves have the ability to shape subsequent economic developments. Whereas remittances from Poland to Ukraine do not comprise a large share of the Ukrainian economy, Russia is a primary source of funds for Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan where remittances exceed international aid.