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Tajikistan|politics|January 22, 2015 / 03:50 PM
Russia reportedly set to include Tajikistan into Eurasian Economic Union

AKIPRESS.COM - The majority of Central Asian countries depend on remittances from labor migrants working in Russia, which pave the way for Moscow to involve them into the Russia-backed Eurasian Economic Union, AzerNews reports.

Tajikistan, whose 72 percent of labor force is seeking employment in Russia, is believed to be next goal for Moscow to be joined to EEU. Some 1.23 million out of 8-million population of Tajikistan worked in Russia in 2013, according to the data released by the Federal Migration Service of Russia. Remittances from Tajik workers living abroad stood at $3.587 billion in 2013, which accounts for 50 percent of the country’s GDP.

Some experts believe that Russia tries to use the labour migration issue against Central Asian countries, in particular Tajikistan, to involve into the economic integration. As an example, in 2014, Russian Federal Migration Service deported over 200,000 Tajik citizens who worked without proper permission or committed administrative violations.

Russian officials have repeatedly stated that Tajikistan should join the EEU. Tajik officials, for their part, said they are studying the issue of EEU membership as well.

However, economic slowdown in Russia threatens to slow the expansion of the EEU. This slowdown has already caused a significant reduction in the volume of remittances sent by migrant workers to their countries.

The Tajik government does too little to create new working places in the country. So, Tajik migrants are in a deadlock in making a certain decision whether to stay in Russia or return home to unemployment.

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