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Migrants will not be allowed to work in the FSB and in external investigation

A bill was presented to the State Duma yesterday, which would forbid foreigners from serving in any power structure other than the Russian army. Deputies are trying to correct a four-year old legislative mistake, whereby the right to serve under contract was given to foreigners in exchange for Russian citizenship. However, there are no foreigners currently working in the Russian special services, and only a few dozen serve in the army instead of the thousands expected to join from CIS countries.

Changes will be made to article 2 of the law concerning conscription and military service. To recapitulate, in the autumn of 2003, the State Duma approved presidential amendments allowing foreigners to work in the military service. However, after three years, it was suddenly realized that the wording of the law allowed foreigners to serve not only in the armed forces, but also in other departments such as the Federal Security Service, the Federal Protection Service and the Service of External Investigation. The laws in these departments only allow the employment of Russian citizens, except for cases of confidential co-operation. According to Alexey Sigutkin, one of the amendments authors, the contradiction that was present is set to be removed, by allowing foreigners to serve only in the Russian army, and nowhere else. The deputy also stated that no foreigners currently work in the Russian special services.

The chairman of the Union of the Committees of Soldiers Mothers, Valentina Melnikova, in turn, has declared that foreigners are not choosing to serve in the Russian army because they are not idiots. According to Ms Melnikova, there are now contract soldiers alongside with new recruits at the committee meetings, complaining about the bad conditions in the military. These contract soldiers are complaining of money extortion on the part of higher ranking soldiers, for example when soldiers sign their salary sheet for the full sum, but receive only half. There are also cases where higher ranking soldiers force younger ones to steal and sell military property, leading to frequent suicides among officers and contract soldiers.

In reality, service in the Russian army is only popular among local residents in areas close to Russian military bases in Armenia and Tadjikistan, where they make the majority of private soldiers and sergeants and where their salaries exceed the countrys average. Before 2003, it was necessary to first give those contract soldiers Russian citizenship, and then to put them into military service. Now citizenship has become the main motivation to sign up. Meanwhile, authorities of those countries oppose the fact that their citizens serve in the Russian army outside of their own borders.

Source: Novye Izvestiya


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