Tajik and Russian experts met in Moscow on February 28 to discuss a draft agreement on organized recruitment of labor migrants in Tajikistan for seasonal work in Russia.  

The Tajik side was represented by Zohir Mirzozoda, the head of the Tajik migration service’s office in Russia, and the Russian side was represented by Yelena Proshina, the head of the Russian interior Ministry department for external labor migration.

The sides reportedly discussed amendments offered to the draft agreement.

Ibrohim Ahmadov, a spokesman for Tajik migration service’s office in Russia, says the agreement provides for controlling the process of employment.  “Implementation of the agreement is expected to promote improvement of employment and working conditions of migrant workers,” Ahmadov noted.     

Recall, an agreement between the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment of the Population of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Russia for cooperation on labor and employment was signed in Dushanbe on February 27. 

During the talks between the leaders of the two countries, strong focus was reportedly placed on bolstering options on the labor migration front and Rahmon and Putin agreed to take specific measures to expand cooperation between their countries in the field of labor migration, including improvement of legal mechanisms regulating labor migration, creation of adequate social conditions for labor migrants, organized recruitment of labor migrants in Tajikistan, and exchange of information on migration issues.

Putin, in particular, told reporters that the Russian government was considering a revision on a ban of Tajik citizens barred from traveling to Russia for one or other reason.

More than 200,000 Tajik citizens may currently be affected by travel bans.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov, who traveled with the visiting Russian delegation, told reporters on February 27 that bans would likely be waived for those people that had committed only minor violations of migration laws.

According to figures from the Main Directorate for Migration Affairs in Moscow, there were almost 900,000 Tajik citizens living in Russia in late 2016.  Tajiks reportedly comprise the second-largest contingent of labor migrants from Central Asia after Uzbekistan, which accounts for 2 million workers in the Russia’s economy.